Skip to main content


WV ClimateLink is a tool for exploring and learning about West Virginia’s changing climate and what is means for communities, ecosystems, and economies.

Explore Climate Map Learning Activities

Why climate matters?

Our quality of life depends on climate – how much water is available to drink, produce electricity, and grow food; the health of farms, streams, animals, and fish; the price we pay for fuel, lumber, and electricity; and even the life-cycles of mosquitos and ticks and diseases. But extreme events such as floods, droughts, and excessively hot days and warmer impact our health, security, and economy. 

What is climate change?

Watch 'Causes and effects of Climate Change' by National Geographic on YouTube

Weather vs. Climate

What is the difference between weather and climate?

Weather is what happens at a certain place at a certain time over hours, days, or a few weeks.  Climate is the long term average of weather over 20 or 30 years.  

Watch Video

Climate 101 – Causes and Consequence

Earth’s climate is always changing but over recent decades, our climate is changing more quickly than can be attributed to earth’s natural climate fluctuations. Recent changes in climate are attributed directly and indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the atmosphere.

Climate change is a change in the usual weather found in a place. This could be a change in how much rain a place usually gets in a year or change in the number of days below freezing during the winter.

Read More on Climate Change

How is climate change calculated, i.e. how we measure change? 

Air temperature and precipitation measured over land and ocean are compared to what is 'normal' for a location overtime, for example the 30-year average measured in Huntington, WV.  This is done by converting the measurements we are familiar with, for example 90°F, to an what is called an “anomaly”. An anomaly is the departure of a measurement for a specific location and date from its long-term (i.e., 30-year) average. Anomalies can be expressed either as absolute change (amount of increase or decrease) or relative change (amount of change divided by original amount).  These values are then used to calculate a global temperature average.  It is a consistent, reliable method for monitoring changes in Earth's surface temperature over time.

Read More About How Climate Change is Calculated

The Climate Map

Explore WV’s Past, Present, and Future Climate

Standard or metric unit of measurement?


WV ClimateLink – is an online atlas, tool, and educational resource that provides educators, communities, and decision makers with data, maps, visualizations, and learning activities that explore the effects of changing air temperature and precipitation on West Virginia’s communities, economies, and ecosystems.

WV ClimateLink has been funded with support from the Appalachian Stewardship Foundation Award Number 10744298; the National Science Foundation Award Number OIA-1458952; and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hatch Project #1004360

National Science Foundation Logo Appalachian Stewardship Foundation Logo