What is a sea breeze and why do they create thunderstorms?

Sea breeze formation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s a normal occurrence in Florida for the afternoon sea breeze to develop along the coast and push inland throughout the afternoon, producing thunderstorms.

What is a sea breeze? By definition, it’s the flow from the sea toward the land that typically peaks in intensity during the afternoon. This is caused by a slight difference in temperatures and pressure between land and water that pushes this boundary back and forth during the day and night.

The sea breeze is most prevalent during the summer months because warm moist air over Florida adds more instability and lift for storms to develop.

Fun fact, Florida is the only state that sees colliding sea breezes from the Atlantic and the Gulf Coast.

With both of the sea breezes moving inland, they eventually collide. The collision causes the air to rise even more and creates thunderstorms. Some of the sea breeze collision storms can be strong with gusty wind and frequent lightning, so be on the lookout and have a place to take cover.