Winds: Sea Breezes
Although global winds are important
in determining the prevailing winds in a given area, local climatic
conditions may wield an influence on the most common wind directions.
Local winds are always superimposed upon
the larger scale wind systems, i.e. the wind direction is influenced
by the sum of global and local effects. When larger scale winds
are light, local winds may dominate the wind patterns.
Land masses are heated by the sun more quickly than
the sea in the daytime. The air rises, flows out to the sea,
and creates a low pressure at ground level which attracts the
cool air from the sea. This is called a sea breeze. At
nightfall there is often a period of calm when land and sea temperatures
At night the wind blows in the opposite direction.
The land breeze at night generally has lower wind speeds,
because the temperature difference between land and sea is smaller
The monsoon known from South-East
Asia is in reality a large-scale form of the sea breeze and land
breeze, varying in its direction between seasons, because land
masses are heated or cooled more quickly than the sea.
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© Copyright 1998 Soren Krohn.
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Updated 9 September 2000