Before we can look into common weather patterns, it is important to first define some terms. In many cases, people may confuse climate with weather. In simple terms, climate is the general average atmospheric conditions in a certain region for a long period of time which is most commonly placed at about more or less 3 decades. Hence, the climate of a place remains relatively unchanged for years.
A place’s climate however does not imply that one region will be warm, cold, stormy or calm everyday for thirty years. There can be brief changes in atmospheric conditions in every region. This is what is known as the weather. When these brief changes are over, the atmosphere returns to more or less its average conditions.
Common weather patterns are directly related to climate. Some experts define climate as the general average weather pattern for a particular location. In other words a long term weather pattern can sometimes be understood as climate. Weather patterns can also be understood as the manner in which various types of weather are spread or distributed across the planet.
Weather patterns are important in forecasting. Sometimes, one is able to predict what the next day’s weather will be based on the concept of persistence. Today’s weather may repeat or persist until the following day. This is especially true in regions where the common weather patterns are usually consistent or unchanging atmospheric conditions. This is easily seen in warm regions where summers are consistently warm for several months.
Weather patterns are also important tools for yearly forecasts. One can reasonably assume that the weather in one particular month or season will be relatively the same in the same month or season in the following year. You will notice this by taking note of particular days and comparing them to the same days in the following year. This is basic layman’s forecasting for you and is especially useful if you want to plan certain events or occasions like trips or weddings.
Knowledge of common weather patterns is therefore supposed to be very useful. As some of us may have recently noticed though, weather patterns are not always what they used to be. All of a sudden, we experience extreme warmth or destructive hurricanes with little warning. Two types of unpredictable extreme weather conditions are known as El Nino and La Nina.
In El Nino, Pacific Ocean waters get warmer and can lead to high temperatures and rain. In La Nina, Pacific Ocean waters get colder. Depending on where you live, La Nina can lead to warmer or colder weather and dry conditions.
A number of climate and weather experts blame the changes in atmospheric conditions to global warming. Human greenhouse gas emissions may be the reason for our current inability to accurately predict weather patterns.