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Home The River Basin People and the River Governance Resource Management
The River Basin
Climate and Weather
Principles of Climate and Weather
 Hydrologic Cycle
 Climate Variability
 Climate Classification
 Water Scarcity
 Climate of the Kunene Basin
 Climate Change
Water Quality
Ecology & Biodiversity



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Principles of Climate and Weather  

Both weather and climate describe meteorological conditions such as temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind or rainfall at a specific location or in a particular region.

The concepts of weather, climate and meteorology are explored in the following sections:

Weather is a term that is frequently used to describe the state of the atmosphere at a particular given time and location and is often described in terms of scale: Micro-meteorology is the science of the minute processes that take place at small scales, including those that occur within plant canopies; Meso-scale includes normal weather system size, such as thunder storms (approximately 10 km across); Synoptic-scale includes much larger systems, such as tropical storms and depressions; and finally Planetary-scale deals with the vast atmospheric waves and systems that control global climate (Barry and Chorley 1992).

In the dry season clay soils dessicate in the Kunene River basin.
Source: Reed 2006
( click to enlarge )

Climate is the overall pattern of weather conditions in a place or region, including both predictable seasonal changes in each year, and extreme weather conditions and events over a longer span of time. It can be considered as being "weather averaged over a long period of time" - typically 30 years or more. Climate descriptions and classifications for an area must therefore be based on long-term events and statistics (mean values, variances, probabilities of extreme values, etc.) (UNESCO 2009). A region’s climate and weather are a function of elevation, topography and landforms, and the amount and movement of heat and moisture in the atmosphere (Hatfield 2008).

Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on the processes and forecasting of observable weather events and patterns. These events are impacted by numerous variables including temperature, air pressure, and water vapour, and how these interactions vary in time and space. Meteorological processes affect the formation and occurrence of rainfall, the formation of clouds, and evapo­transpiration, all of which play significant roles in the hydrologic cycle.




Explore the sub-basins of the Kunene River

Video Interviews about the integrated and transboundary management of the Kunene River basin

Explore the interactions of living organisms in aquatic environments

Examine how the hydrologic cycle moves water through and around the earth