The UK has seen a good deal of pleasant spring warmth over the past couple of weeks, and plenty of people have been making the trip to the seaside.
Temperatures have surpassed the dizzying heights of 20C across the area, well above what we’d expect for this time of year.
If you made the trip to the coast, you may have felt the chilly effects of a “sea breeze” upon your arrival, causing temperatures to be lower than a few miles inland.
But how do they form?
On a warm, sunny day, the land heats up quickly in the sunshine.
The air above the land is in turn warmed, and rises due to warm air being less dense than cold air.
This causes a local area of low pressure over the land.
The sea warms much more slowly than the land, so the air rises less readily, and we get an area of relatively high pressure at the sea surface.
This difference in pressure is what drives the sea breeze.
Air (or any fluid for that matter) will move from an area of higher pressure, to an area with lower pressure.
This creates a wind going from the relatively cool sea, towards the land, thus lowering the temperature.
On excessively hot summer days, this can provide welcome relief.
But last week, temperatures hitting 20C inland were pegged back to a cooler 12C on the coast.
During the evenings, we see a reversal of this process, and get a “land breeze”.
This is because the land cools more quickly than the sea once the sun goes down, and the wind blows from the land out towards the sea.
So can we expect further tastes of summer over the coming days?
Well, whilst we are expecting it to remain settled for the remainder of the week and into this weekend, unfortunately it doesn’t look quite as warm as the last few days.
There will be some pleasant sunny spells in the daytimes but expect the nights to be rather cold with a ground frost not impossible.