Land Sea BreezeHere in Ballard, my little studio is short walk to the Locks and the Puget Sound so along with the occasional gull, boat horn or allure of salt in the air, I occasionally enjoy a charming evening phenomena that other coastal people will probably recognize; an atmospheric changing of the guard. If the day has been warm enough, the water warms up faster than the land and a sea breeze develops.  The provides a modest prevailing wind off the water blowing inland throughout the day.  This continues until at some point in the evening when the temperature difference shifts. At this point, the wind quickly changes direction and a land breeze, blowing out to sea takes over. This is a pretty common phenomena in coastal areas, but I don’t know if this next part is typical…

The point where the sea breeze shifts to a land breeze outside my place is very sudden.  Perhaps the layout of the local houses or block channels the wind. For the course of about 10-20 minutes or so, the shift is so strong that if I haven’t drawn them up, my blinds will be violently rattled or even sucked out the windows.  Additionally, all the trees that form a curtain between my row of buildings and the one’s behind us, sway towards the sea and remain “bowing” that way for several minutes.  I’ve described the effect poetically to others as an “evening prayer”.

I’ve come to enjoy our erratic and sometimes jarring wind clock and just thought I’d share it with you.