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Offshore Flow Aloft
precursor to the sea breeze at the surface
Since warm air is less dense than cool air,
the air over land
expands in response to heating from the
This expansion leads to an
increase in the distance, or "thickness",
between constant pressure
surfaces within the heated air.
Over water, where the air is heated very little,
such expansion does not occur
and the distance between pressure
surfaces remains about the same.
In response to continued heating,
an area of high pressure
(blue "H") develops at higher levels over land while an
area of low pressure (red "L")
develops over water.
pressure gradient force
causes air at higher levels to
flow offshore (from high
to low pressure).