Monsoon systems and Lake Breeze
Many similarities exist between tropical monsoons and Lake Breeze systems. The tropical monsoon system is characterized by precipitation that occurs entirely within the inter-tropical convergence zone. The precipitation in tropical monsoon weather occurs seasonally, and may be displaced due to the presence of cross- equatorial gradients in pressure (Mohtadi et al., 2016). Each seasonal change in the precipitation patterns is accompanied by wind shear. The beginning of monsoons is characterized by the migration of subtropical high altitude systems. The seasonal occurrence of monsoons makes them more pronounced in terms of duration as well as in the length. As opposed to the lake breeze systems, the monsoon systems are more intense and can cover entire inter-tropical convergence zones. This is due to the fact that the monsoon winds cover the entire area that is affected by the wind shear pressure gradient.
On the other hand, sea breezes are characterized by smaller lengths as well as durations. While monsoons are affected by seasonal changes, the lake breezes result from tidal changes which are shorter lived as well as non-seasonal. The duration of lake breezes is affected by the duration of tides, which varies between a few hours to not more than 24 hours for in each occurrence. Moreover, while the monsoon is spread across the entire inter-tropical convergence zone, lake breezes often cover only the immediate land covering, varying between a few hundreds of meters to tens of kilometers in length. As such, the scale of the lake breeze can be said to be micro in comparison to the monsoon winds.
The diagrams below depict the monsoon and the sea breezes as they occur.
Figure 1: Lake Breeze Circulation (Source: Heidorn, 2005)
Figure 2: Monsoon Winds in summer and winter
Heidorn, K.C. (2005). Lake Breeze weather. Retrieved from www.islandnet.com/~see/weather/elements/lakebreezewx.htm
Mohtadi, M., Prange, M. and Steinke, S. (2016). Key characteristics of monsoon systems and related climate phenomena. Nature, 533, pp. 191 – 199. Retrieved from www.nature.com/nature/journal/v533/n7602/box/nature17450_BX1.html?foxtrotcallback=true