Stacker used a variety of scientific sources to compile a list of 50 common weather terms. Here’s a look at the phrases, words, and terminology that dominate weather reports, which are correct far more frequently than the people who craft them are given credit for. It’s important to note that “climate” and “weather” are not interchangeable terms. Weather describes the short-term—day-to-day and hour-to-hour—state of the atmosphere, including temperature, precipitation, wind, and visibility. Climate, on the other hand, measures average weather patterns over several decades. Global-warming deniers often cite anomalies like warm spells in the winter as evidence backing their point of view, when they are referencing the weather, not the climate.
You may also like: Notable weather events from the year you were born Weather forecasters are easy targets because, like football referees, people tend to take notice only when they get it wrong. The reality, however, is that meteorologists are right in astonishing percentages. When weathermen and women issue seven-day forecasts, they’re accurate about 80% of the time—90% for five-day forecasts. If someone had told Aristotle that human beings would one day be able to accurately predict the weather nine times out of 10, five days in advance, he likely would have laughed at their overactive imagination.
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