Table of Contents
There are six major elements of weather and climatesused for determiningthe frequent changes in the condition of the atmosphere; these six major elements can provide the basis for forecasting weather and defining its climate; the same elements make also the basis of climatology study, but within a longer time scale rather than it does in meteorology.
Elements of weather and climate determine the daily condition of the atmosphere at a given time and their occurrences are never the same everywhere, but vary in different places. The combinations of the different elements of weather and climate such as Precipitation, Temperature, Humidity, Cloudiness, Atmospheric pressure and Wind often express these atmospheric conditions in different ways. However, to clearly understand the differences between weather and climate, it is best you learn more on the six major elements of weather and climate which are listed below
- Precipitation-precipitation is a form of water in the atmosphere that falls to the earth; precipitation is a long-term, predictable factor of a region’s makeup which is formed as a result of rapid condensation of moisture. This falls after cloud has been formed in the sky. Various forms of precipitation include rain, snow, fog, mist, hail, sleet and drizzle. As an element of weather, precipitation determines whether outdoor activities are suitable and it can easily be predicted by observing the signs in sky.
- Temperature– temperature measures the degree of hotness or coldness of a place from day- to-day. Increased temperature is determined by the angle of the sun hence temperature may change repeatedly within a day, however, temperature is an important of element of weather, it influences other elements of the weather, such as wind, humidity, precipitation, atmospheric pressure and cloudiness.
- Humidity- humidity is simply the amount of water vapour in the air or in the lower atmosphere. The humidity is an element of weather that can influence the day by making it feel hotter; it can be used to predict an upcoming occurrence such as storm. However, humidity as an element of weather and it is the prolonged moisture level of an area that can affect an entire ecosystem. The two types of humidity include the absolute humidity and Relative humidity. a) Absolute humidity is the total amount of water vapour present in the atmosphere per volume of air at a definite temperature. b) While Relative humidity is the ratio of the water vapours present in air; this water vapour has a definite volume at a specific temperature compared to the maximum water vapours that the air is able to hold without condensing at that given temperature.
- Cloudiness- this is simply the state of clouds in the atmosphere at a given time over an area. Different types of clouds means different weather conditions. For instance, lighter cloud indicates little or no precipitation, while dark heavy cloud indicates that there will be heavy rain or thunderstorms.
- Atmospheric pressure– Atmospheric pressure is the “weight” of the air in the atmosphere, Changes in atmospheric pressure are mostly caused by the rise of warm air and the descent of cold air, hence atmospheric pressure occurs mostly in regions near water bodies. For instance, coastal regions and islands on a daily basis experience severe storm because of their nearness to water bodies.
- Wind– wind is the air in motion that moves from areas of high air pressure to those of low air pressure; the speed of the wind is determined by the difference between the high and low-pressure wind and it occurs due to rising hot air or sinking cold air. Wind can be felt only when it is in motion; as the speed of the wind increases, the air tends to move more quickly and therefore diminish warm air thus making it seem colder than the actual temperature.
Instruments of weather and climate
All the six main elements of weather and climateare measured by some essential instruments; see all the instruments of weather and climate with pictures here.