Glossary of Weather and Climate Terms

climate pictures


Climate is the "average" weather conditions for an area over a long period of time (for example, the average high temperature for today's date). (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Infrastructure refers to the basic equipment, utilities, productive enterprises, installations, institutions, and services essential for the development, operation, and growth of an organization, city, or nation. For example, roads; schools; electric, gas, and water utilities; transportation; communication; and legal systems would be all considered as infrastructure. (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
Resilient means being able to absorb disturbances while keeping the same basic structure and ways of functioning, the capacity for self-organization, and the capacity to adapt to stress and change. (Adapted from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
Sustainable means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (Adapted from the UN World Commission on the Environment and Development)
Vector-borne diseases
Vector-borne diseases are infections transmitted indirectly by a live carrier, such as mosquitos, fleas, or ticks. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Weather is local and temporary. Weather happens at a particular time and place. Rain, snow, wind, hurricanes, tornadoes--these are all weather events. (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)