Observing, modeling, and predicting the Delaware Sea Breeze

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 9:00 AM
130 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Dana Veron, University of Delaware, Newark, DE; and C. Hughes, J. Gilchrist, and J. Lodise

The sea breeze along the Delaware coast has a significant impact on the local environment and influences tourism, air quality, agriculture, and may play a role in regional electricity supply and demand. Delaware is located on the Delmarva Peninsula where it is bordered by the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, and is less than 30 km from the Chesapeake Bay at its closest point. This interesting geographical situation, combined with the presence of a semi-permanent upwelling center in the summer time near the mouth of the Delaware Bay, leads to significant variety in sea breeze frontal shape, speed, direction, and timing. Meteorological observations from the National Data Buoy Center and the Delaware Environmental Observing System have been combined with data from local weather radar and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry to characterize the local Delaware Sea Breeze. High-resolution modeling studies with WRF have been used to further explore the impact of small-scale variability in the land and sea surface on sea breeze frontal propagation. Finally, the observations and model results are combined to develop a local sea breeze prediction algorithm, which could be useful for offshore rescue and disaster resource management, as well as for the developing offshore wind energy industry.