How is meteorology different from climatology?

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Dear Tom,
How is meteorology different from climatology? Is their usage
— Jerry Boyd, Chesterton, Ind.
Dear Jerry,
Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere: its physics, chemistry and
dynamics. In popular usage, it is the science of weather and weather
forecasting. Climatology deals with the observed geographical and
temporal distributions of weather variables (such as temperature,
precipitation or cloud cover) over long periods of time. And it deals
with the nature and controls of the Earth’s many climates.
A primary difference between meteorology and climatology is one of time.
Meteorology is concerned with the state of the atmosphere and its
changes in the short term: minutes to days. Climatology is a synthesis
of weather elements over an extended period of time: years, decades, or


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