Land- and sea-surface impacts on local coastal breezes

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Dana E Veron, Chris Hughes, Justin Gilchrist, John Lodise and Will Goldman, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, United States
The state of Delaware has seen significant increases in population along the coastline in the past three decades. With this increase in population have come changes to the land surface, as forest and farmland has been converted to residential and commercial purposes, causing changes in the surface roughness, temperature, and land-atmosphere fluxes. There is also a semi-permanent upwelling center in the spring and summer outside the Delaware Bay mouth that significantly changes the structure of the sea surface temperature both inside and outside the Bay. Through a series of high resolution modeling and observational studies, we have determined that in cases of strong synoptic forcing, the impact of the land-surface on the boundary layer properties can be advected offshore, creating a false coastline and modifying the location and timing of the sea breeze circulation. In cases of weak synoptic forcing, the influence of the upwelling and the tidal circulation of the Delaware Bay waters can greatly change the location, strength, and penetration of the sea breeze. Understanding the importance of local variability in the surface-atmosphere interactions on the sea breeze can lead to improved prediction of sea breeze onset, penetration, and duration which is important for monitoring air quality and developing offshore wind power production.