Frequency and characteristics of inland advecting sea breezes in the Southeast United States

Brian Viner, Stephen Noble, Jian Hua Qian, David Werth, Paul Gayes, Len Pietrafesa, Shaowu Bao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Sea breezes have been observed to move inland over 100 km. These airmasses can be markedly different from regional airmasses, creating a shallow layer with differences in humidity, wind, temperature and aerosol characteristics. To understand their influence on boundary layer and cloud development on subsequent days, we identify their frequency and characteristics. We visually identified sea breeze fronts on radar passing over the Savannah River Site (SRS) between March and October during 2015-2019. The SRS is ~150 km from the nearest coastal location; therefore, our detection suggests further inland penetration. We also identified periods when sea breeze fronts may have passed but were not visually observed on radar due to the shallow sea breeze airmass remaining below the radar beam elevation that ranges between approximately 1-8 km depending on the beam angle and radar source (Columbia, SC or Charleston, SC). Near-surface atmospheric measurements indicate that the dew point temperature increases, the air temperature decreases, the variation in wind direction decreases and the aerosol size increases after sea breeze frontal passage. A synoptic classification procedure also identified that inland moving sea breezes are more commonly observed when the synoptic conditions include weak to moderate offshore winds with an average of 35 inland sea breezes occurring each year, focused primarily in the months of April, May and June.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number950
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerosols
  • Boundary-layer
  • Sea breeze

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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