A Characterization Of The Delaware Sea Breeze Using Observations And Modeling
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A Characterization Of The Delaware Sea Breeze Using Observations And Modeling

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
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  • Description:
    Sea-breeze circulations are a prominent source of diurnal wind variability along coastlines throughout the world. For Delaware, the sea breeze is the largest source of variability in the coastal wind field. We developed a detailed, year-round sea-breeze climatology for the Delaware coastline using 9 years of meteorological station data and an objective sea-breeze detection algorithm. Sea-breeze fronts were identified and characterized by timing, speed, and duration as well as the resulting temperature and humidity changes. The observed temperature change associated with the Delaware sea-breeze front varied spatially, as well as with season, time of day, location, and developmental stage of the front. The observed sea breeze also had some unique features because of the location of southern Delaware on the Delmarva Peninsula and the complicated shape of the local coastline. Details of the summertime sea breeze were further explored using simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting Model for June–August of 2000–09. Model-simulated sea-breeze characteristics were then compared with the observed sea-breeze climatology whenever possible. Results suggest that the mesoscale atmospheric model is capable of simulating the complex, observed spatial and temporal characteristics of the Delaware Sea breeze. However, the sea breeze in the model was weaker than that observed and tended to dissipate earlier in the afternoon, making it a challenging phenomenon to detect and characterize in the model. Improved detection and simulation of the sea-breeze fronts will increase our understanding of the impact this regional phenomenal has on the local climate and on the populations living by the coast.
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  • Source:
    Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 57(7), 1405-1421
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  • Sea Grant Document Number:
    DELU-R-18-003
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