Impacts of the Thermal Gradient on Inland Advecting Sea Breezes in the Southeastern United States

Joseph Wermter, Stephen Noble, Brian Viner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Sea breezes are frequently observed in the South Carolina/Georgia region of the Southeastern United States (SEUS) and can reach upwards of 150km inland. This region is unique among the places frequently affected by sea breeze due to it being a continental location with relatively flat topography. The thermal gradient between land and water environments is a factor in introducing the sea breeze, but its role in the inland extent of sea breeze propagation isn’t as well known. We investigate the role of the thermal gradient in previously catalogued sea breeze events observed at the Savannah River Site (SRS) by taking differences of temperature measurements at inland and coastal weather stations for the days that the events occurred. We saw that the temperature differences for those days were much higher than in the non-sea breeze days during the mornings and afternoon. Numerical models were also used to conduct a sensitivity study on a sea breeze case, using simple modifications of the temperature gradient. We found that while the modifications did not stop the generation of a sea breeze circulation, the extent of the inland propagation was dependent on the magnitude of the thermal gradient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1004
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • boundary-layer
  • numerical weather prediction
  • sea breeze

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science


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