Weather is a term that encompasses phenomena in the atmosphere of a planet. The term is normally taken to mean the activity of these phenomena over short periods of time, usually no more than a few days. Average atmospheric conditions over significantly longer periods are known as climate. Usage of the two terms often overlaps and the physical concepts underlying them are closely related. On Earth, regularly occurring weather phenomena include such things as wind, cloud, rain, snow, fog and dust storms. Less common events include natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes and ice storms. Almost all familiar weather phenomena occur in the troposphere (the lower part of the atmosphere). Weather does occur in the stratosphere and does affect weather lower down in the troposphere, but the exact mechanisms are poorly understood. The Earth’s atmosphere is a chaotic system, so small changes to one part can have large effects elsewhere. This makes it very difficult to accurately predict weather changes more than a few days in advance, though weather forecasters are continually working to extend this limit through the scientific study of weather, meteorology.