WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

What is sea Breezes? What is Land Breezes? If you will try to answer these, I would be very greatful.

Posted May 17, 2008 12:23 p.m. EDT

MIKE MOSS SAYS:        Brandon,      Sea and land breezes are circulations of air that result from strong temperature contrasts developing between bodies of water and adjacent land areas. When adjacent areas have very different temperatures, this leads to a difference in air density and thus to the rate at which pressure decreases with height near the surface. This in turn leads to a difference, at the same altitude, in pressure, with the pressure near the surface over the cooler area tending to be higher than at the same height over the warmer area. This pressure gradient results in air moving from the higher pressure (cooler) area toward the lower pressure (warmer) region.

A sea breeze occurs when the land becomes much warmer than the nearby ocean, which results in an onshore wind blowing from the ocean toward the land and progressing inland. A land breeze is the opposite, and occurs when the sea surface temperature is considerably warmer than the nearby land, leading to an offshore flow in which wind blows from the land toward the sea.