Weather Facts

When is it Warmer Near the Water?

On many days during the spring and summer months, you hear meteorologists say that the air temperatures will be cooler near the water. That is simply due to the fact that the water temperature is cooler than the air temperature during the spring and summer afternoons and when the wind blows from the water, it will be cooler near the shore. (See my weather fact on "Sea Breezes") However, during the fall and winter months, there are many mornings when the air temperature is warmer in the late night and early morning hours near the shoreline. That is because the water temperature is warmer than the air temperature on some occasions. This is especially true when arctic air masses move into the region. That is also why the date of the first killing frost is normally later near the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay than it is away from the water. The reason for the temperature differences between the inland areas and the coastal region is that water takes much longer than land to heat up and to cool down. Keep in mind that the wind direction plays an important role in this process. On mornings when strong winds are blowing, there probably won't be that much of a temperature difference between inland and coastal areas.