A Summer Sea Breeze

While spending a weekend at the beach recently, I was reminded how pleasant a sea breeze can feel on a hot summer afternoon.

A sea breeze is a localized, daytime wind driven by the temperature difference between land and a large body of water. Since land is able to absorb the sun’s energy more quickly than water, it warms faster. As a result, air over the ground heats and rises, creating an area of low pressure. Cooler air is then drawn from the zone of higher-pressure above the ocean to fill the void, forming an onshore breeze.

These winds typically start flowing around mid-day and last throughout the afternoon.  They are valued for their moderating influence on local temperatures, keeping coastal areas cooler than their inland neighbors during the warmest months of the year.

Image Credit: physicalgeography.net