Land-sea wind

During the day, the sunshine radiation heats the land surface more than the ocean, which one has a bigger thermal mass. Therefore, the warm air rises above the land and colder air flows from ocean to land. At night, this process inverts (see meteograms for Malaga). Now, the land cools down while the ocean surface keeps its temperature. The air rises above the ocean, and cold air flows from the land to the ocean. This kind of land-sea winds are well-known on every coast.

Animation of the land-sea wind circulation

Animation of the land-sea wind circulation

Meteogram temperatures - Malaga

Meteogram temperatures - Malaga

Meteogram wind - Malaga

Meteogram wind - Malaga
The wind blows northward (ocean-land) during the day and southward (land-ocean) during the night.

Example of northern Germany
Littoral situation in Germany (Heiligendamm)

Littoral situation in Germany (Heiligendamm)

Germany lies on the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth in the temperate zone, where different seasons occur. The land-sea winds are most visible during the summer, when the Sun reaches its highest position: then the temperature differences between land and sea are higher. The location of the selected coastal region is shown in the accompanying figure.

On land (20 km from coast)
The image “Live meteogram - Reddelich (54.08°N / 11.85°E)” is not available at the moment

Live meteogram - Reddelich (54.08°N / 11.85°E)

On the coast
The image “Live meteogram - Heiligendamm (54.15°N / 11.83°E)” is not available at the moment

Live meteogram - Heiligendamm (54.15°N / 11.83°E)

On sea (20 km from coast)
The image “Live meteogram - Baltic Sea (54.18°N / 11.83°E)” is not available at the moment

Live meteogram - Baltic Sea (54.18°N / 11.83°E)

Example of Italy
Littoral situation in Italy (Fiumicino)

Littoral situation in Italy (Fiumicino)

Italy is also located on the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth in the temperate zone. The land-sea wind here is also most visible during the summer. The location of the selected coastal region is shown in the accompanying figure.

On land (20 km from coast)
The image “Live meteogram - Rome (41.90°N / 12.48°E)” is not available at the moment

Live meteogram - Rome (41.90°N / 12.48°E)

On the coast
The image “Live meteogram - Fiumicino (41.77°N / 12.23°E)” is not available at the moment

Live meteogram - Fiumicino (41.77°N / 12.23°E)

On sea (20 km from coast)
The image “Live meteogram - Mediterranean Sea west of Rome (41.81°N / 11.89°E)” is not available at the moment

Live meteogram - Mediterranean Sea west of Rome (41.81°N / 11.89°E)

Questions

  • Can you recognize whether a land-sea or sea-land wind is blowing at the coast?
  • If not, could it be that the temperatures do not differ between day and night?
  • Is the wind influenced by other factors, such as cold winter or by dense cloudy cover?
  • Do the wind direction and the wind force change in 20 km distance from the coast?