What is the difference between a land breeze and a sea breeze? How do each of them form? Please help!

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Oct 27, 2015


A sea breeze blows from the ocean over the land during the day, whereas a land breeze blows from the land to the ocean during the night.


Breezes are caused by a temperature difference causing a pressure difference between the ocean and land.

When a surface is warm, the air above it rises because warm air rises and this creates a lower air pressure on the surface. When the surface is cold, the air above it sinks, which creates more air pressure.

Breezes are formed by air moving from high pressure to low pressure. Sea and land breezes are formed because the ocean and land heat up and cool at different rates.

In the day, the sun heats up the land faster, and so the air above the land has a lower pressure than the air over the ocean. This causes a breeze from the higher pressure air over the ocean towards the lower pressure air over the land. This is a sea breeze.

At night time, the air above the land cools down faster than the air above the ocean. This means that the air above the land now has a higher pressure because cold air sinks. So the wind will blow from the high pressure air above the land to the low pressure air above the ocean. This is a land breeze.

It's important to remember that the breezes are caused by land heating up and cooling down faster than water forming a pressure difference. A breeze will blow from the higher air pressure zone to the lower air pressure zone.

The image below helps to explain what's happening during the day and night:


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