BREAKING IT DOWN WITH BRITTNEY - The "Sea Breeze" aka that cool and refreshing wind that always come off of Lake Michigan and refreshes you while on the beach!
Have you ever stopped to think about how the wind direction is always at your face, as you stare off into the vast open water? Why is this?
Meteorologist Brittney Merlot breaks down the science behind this weather phenomena, so you can show off your knowledge next time you hit the sand.
Basically, a sea breeze is any wind that blow from a large body of water toward or onto land. It develops due to difference in air pressure, created by the differing heat capacities of water and dry land.
Sea breezes are on a local scale and are different from the prevailing winds. They mainly occur on hot and sunny days and develop due to difference in air pressure, created by the differing heat capacities of water and dry land.
Remember, warmer air is lighter than cooler air. As a result, warm air rises. Therefore, the warmer air over the land surface is rising. This can also create some clouds nearshore. As the warm air over the land is rising, the cooler air over the lake or ocean is flowing over the land surface to replace the rising warm air. This is the sea breeze!
The exact opposite occurs at night. You will find that the wind will be at your back while the sun is down. This is because, the warmer air over the lake/ocean is buoyant and is rising, so the denser, cool air over the land, is flowing offshore to replenish the buoyant warm air. This is called a land breeze!
|U.S. Dept. of Commerce|
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
National Data Buoy Center
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529
Page last modified: June 28, 2016
Freedom of Information