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Geography, Climates and Climatic Regions

housing designs, different types of climates, heating fuels, large country, precipitation

Many people confuse weather with climate. Although the two are closely related, they have distinctly different meanings. Weather changes from day to day and sometimes from one hour to the next. It involves the temperature, precipitation, humidity, and wind factors at a particular time. Short-term decisions about matters such as whether to play baseball during the afternoon or carry an umbrella to work are based on weather.

Climate, however, represents weather conditions over extended periods of time. Repeating cycles of precipitation and temperature, along with complex interactions of wind patterns and seasonal sun, give us our climates. Long-term decisions about storing heating fuels, planning for irrigation, raising particular crops, or choosing particular features for housing designs all require a consideration of climate. The United States is a large country, and different types of climates are found in different parts of the country.

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