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When land breezes collide: Converging diurnal winds over small bodies of water

  • Author(s): Gille, ST
  • Llewellyn Smith, SG
  • et al.

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© 2013 Royal Meteorological Society. Over enclosed and semi-enclosed bodies of water, the land-breeze/sea-breeze circulation is expected to be modified by the presence of opposing coastlines. These effects are studied using satellite scatterometer surface wind observations from the QuikSCAT and ADEOS-2 tandem mission from April-October 2003. Winds are studied for six bodies of water: the Red Sea, the Gulf of California, the Mediterranean, the Adriatic Sea, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. These bodies of water are large enough for the geographic orientation of the diurnal winds relative to the coastline to match the expected orientation for a straight coastline. Land breezes from opposite coastlines converge in the middle of these bodies of water, and in some cases the convergence line is shifted substantially away from the midpoint between opposite coastlines. Displacements in the convergence line appear likely to be explained by differences in the strength of the diurnal winds emanating from opposite coastlines associated with differential heating or island/peninsula effects, and by geographic displacements associated with large-scale mean wind patterns.

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