March 22, 2021
As a kid, when my family used to take a daytrip to the beach, we would pack all of our stuff into the car and be off. When we arrived, my mum would put on her beach hat with the wide brim and grab us by the hands to walk with us onto the sand. As soon as we arrived onto the sand, she would pull her hand away from my brothers and put it over her head to keep her hat from flying away in the breeze. My brother would use the moment of freedom to run right into the ocean before we had set up or gotten any sunscreen on. This happened often and I wondered…why is it always windy when we go to the beach?
I thought it was just coincidence but there is a scientific explanation for it. It has to do with the relationship between sunlight and air pressure. The sun rises each morning and when it does, the earths surface begins to warm. Solid objects such as roads, sand and rocks absorb the radiation faster and get hotter than liquids as such as large bodies of water, lakes, ponds, the ocean etc..
At the beach, the sand and roads heat up a lot faster and get hotter than the ocean water. This uneven heating of the earth in that location sets up areas of different air pressure zones. The hotter areas being low pressure and the cooler areas being more high pressure.
When this happens, the lighter air from the warmer low-pressure zones rises and is replaced by denser, colder air from the high-pressure zones. The movement of air from high to low manifests as the sea breeze that tried to blow my mum’s hat off her head.
In the morning, the sea breeze blows from the ocean towards the beach. In the evening, the situation becomes reversed as the land becomes cooler than the ocean and the winds blow in the opposite direction, towards the ocean. cool huh?
Hate it when you’re at the beach and the sand is kicked up by the wind and sticks to your sun screened arms and legs? Ugh its the worst..
Being aware of windspeed at the beach is important if you want to have a good time and enjoy your beach activities such as parasailing, volleyball, boating and let’s face it, just lying around.
How much wind is too much when you want to have a fun day at the beach? When winds exceed 15 mph, its usually bordering on the unpleasant. The winds make it difficult to read, your umbrella might fly off, chairs might be carried away and the sand can be kicked up by the wind, becoming a hazard if it gets into your eyes.
Winds below 15 mph can still affect various beach activities. Your frisbee or badminton game is not fun at all if the wind is carrying your equipment off and a sandwich just doesn’t taste as good if its bacon, lettuce, sand, tomato. However, remember all those times where you made some corny or offensive joke and someone said...oh go fly a kite! You might want to do just that!
When you get to the beach, keep an eye out for a windsock on location. The windsock will let you know the windspeed and direction so that you can prepare. If the sock is flat against the pole, go ahead and grab your frisbee or badminton rackets instead and if the sock is full or partially inflated, grab your kite instead!
Need a windsock for your beach property? Perhaps you need some thing to help the life guards with informing beach goers about the dangers of the water.
Let us know if you would like to purchase a windsock for your beach front restaurant, hotel, resort, cottage, dock, marina etc. We can customize them to help warn beach goers of high winds, dangers of swimming or even customized ones to let swimmers know that things are safe and they are fine to play and enjoy the day.
You can also check out the Windsock here and upload your artwork directly on the site. We will make it and ship it right to you!
Take it Breezy!
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November 22, 2023
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