With Memorial Day less than two weeks away, thoughts of the beach may start dancing in your head. Water temperatures right now at the shore average around 60oF, and they'll increase a bit by month's end.

Of course, the cool water can have a large affect on the air temperature near the shore. With a strong onshore wind, ocean-cooled air can penetrate many miles inland, lowering temperatures 10 or even 20 degrees. Other times, this onshore wind is very localized, occuring only right near the shore, and that's when we typically call it a "sea breeze".

A sea breeze forms because land heats faster than water. So on sunny days, the air over land warms up faster than the air over the water. The relatively warm air over land rises, and in response air from out over the water heads inland. And that's the cooling breeze you often feel during the midday and afternoon hours at the shore.

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