sea breeze

How Sea Breezes Cool Things Down on the Coast

Land heats up much faster than water and the result can be a phenomenon we know as a sea breeze

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The sea breeze continues to keep us comfy at the coastline on these hot summer days.  It's a phenomenon that can occur at any time of the year -- it all has to do with the land versus water heating. 

Land heats up much faster than water.  As land heats up in the afternoon sunshine, the air above rises and this forms a mini area of low pressure.  The cool air right over the ocean rushes in to replace the low pressure.  Air always flows from high pressure to low pressure.  That air also heats up and rises.  As the air rises it cools and condenses, forming clouds.  Sometimes small thunderstorms develop along the sea breeze front if the right conditions are present. 

The opposite is a land breeze.  This occurs at night as the temperature on the land cools very fast, compared to the body of water.  We then have a low pressure over the water, and high pressure over the land, with an offshore breeze with air flowing from high to low pressure. 

Sea breezes occur at the ocean, but also near large lakes.  Temperatures s at the coastline can match the water temperature in the 60s, while 5 miles inland temperaturess are in the 80s. We also have to have no dominant wind direction and almost no speed to allow for this local circulation to occur.

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