Skip Navigation Links weather.gov 
NOAA logo-Select to go to the NOAA homepage NDBC Title GraphicClick to go to NDBC home page   Select to go to the NWS homepage
Home About Us Contact Us
 
 
    
    Station List

 Data Access
    Mobile Access
    Classic Maps
         Recent
         DART®
    Obs Search
    Ship Obs Report
    BuoyCAMs
    TAO
    DODS
    OceanSITES
    HF Radar
    OSMC
    Dial-A-Buoy
    RSS Feeds Image indicating link to RSS feed access page
    Web Widget
    Email Access
    Web Data Guide
    Maintenance Schedule
    Station Status Report

 Program Info
    TAO
    DART®
    IOOS®

 Publications
    NDBC PEA
    NDBC FONSI
    NDBC DQC Handbook

 FAQ
 Visitor Information
 
USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.

Hurricane Symbol Storm Special! View the latest observations near East Pacific Tropical Depression Fourteen-E.

The NDBC website is now available only via HTTPS. Please update your bookmarks and/or links to use https://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/.

What are sea breezes and why do they occur?

Sea breezes occur during hot, summer days because of the unequal heating rates of land and water. During the day, the land surface heats up faster than the water surface. Therefore, the air above the land is warmer than the air above the ocean. Now, recall that warmer air is lighter than cooler air. As a result, warm air rises. Therefore, the warmer air over the land surface is rising. As the warm air over the land is rising, the cooler air over the ocean is flowing over the land surface to replace the rising warm air. This is the sea breeze and can be seen at the top of the following image. The bottom of the following image illustrates the land breeze that occurs at night. Recall that the land surface cools quicker than the water surface at night. Therefore, the warmer air over the ocean is buoyant and is rising. The denser cool air over the land is flowing offshore to replenish the buoyant warm air and is called a land breeze.

Sea Breeze and Land Breeze Images

Return to Science Education Home