Climate is the historical average of weather for a given period. Simply put, the maximum temperature for a certain day is weather, but predicting what the likely maximum temperature for that same day will be based on historical data is an aspect of climate. An analogy that can further clarify weather and climate is as follows: weather : single basketball game :: climate : entire basketball season.
The connection we can make here is that you can use the average performance of the basketball team over the entire season to predict how the team will perform during their next game. For instance, if the team averages 75 points per game over 20 games, then predicting that the team will score around 75 points in their next game is a reasonable estimate. However, one star player may be injured, or the caliber of the opposing team changes the outlook of the game, and that is precisely what happens with weather forecasting as well. Using climate as a baseline estimate of what weather conditions to expect is a good start, but so many other factors control what weather conditions will be observed.
Typically, climatological averages are based on a 30-year average of weather data. Currently, the 30-year period from 1981-2010 is used for most climatological records. In 2021, we can update our climatological averages to the 30-year period from 1991-2020.
Central North Carolina Climatological Temperatures Slider:
How hot does it usually get in April? Should I plan an outdoor wedding in November or will it be too chilly? You can partially answer these questions with the two sliders below that will output the expected climatological temperature range for the selected portion of the year when clicked and/or moved.
The red slider depicts climatological maximum mean temperatures and the blue slider shows climatological minimum mean temperatures. The mean temperature data are the computed average of the mean temperatures at the KRDU, KGSO, and KFAY stations in Raleigh, Greensboro, and Fayetteville, respectively.
Temperature data from the 1981-2010 climate period was used in these computations, and these slider can be used as a quick guide to reference when mean maximum and minimum temperatures change. The average of these three central North Carolina cities was computed to serve as a better spatial representation of central North Carolina instead of a single city or county.
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