Bodies Of Water And Their Impact On Air Temperature - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Bodies Of Water And Their Impact On Air Temperature

Large bodies of water play a big role when it comes to the air temperature of coastal locations. The peninsula is very familiar with this weather "phenomenon" and we've experienced it here on Delmarva just in the last few days.

The image attached is the 4:00pm air temperatures across the region on Saturday April 12th. Notice the 15 degree temperature difference between Ocean City and Salisbury. These two locations are only about 30 miles apart. The winds at this time were out of the southeast, which is right off the cool ocean water. The water temperature just off the coast of Ocean City is around 50 degrees. With winds coming off the ocean, we should expect temperatures to be similar to or at least close to the actual water temperature, which is exactly the case here. Ocean City is the closest location to the water, hence the coolest air. This often makes forecasting for coastal towns difficult, as one small shift in wind direction can drastically change a temperature.

The same rules apply for a city such as Cambridge when the winds are reversed. If the winds are coming off the Chesapeake Bay, then Cambridge will have a much cooler air temperature than surrounding areas. In the attached image, temperatures are much warmer in Cambridge and Easton compared to Ocean City because the winds in this particular situation were coming out of the southeast. A southeast wind would bring in warm temperatures for these areas because the wind is coming off the warm land. Salisbury is far enough inland to not have such a big effect from the water.

So here's a quick easy rule to remember, if the wind is off the water and you live near the water, quickly check the water temperature near your location, and that will likely be similar to your air temperature.

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