Why does it seem like the winds start in the morning and quit by dark?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom, 
Why does it seem like the winds start in the morning and quit by dark?
Linda Bradford

Dear Linda,
So long as other factors aren’t at work (during stormy weather, for example), winds do in fact tend to start blowing by late morning and die away around sunset. This diurnal cycle occurs because as sunshine heats the ground and the air above it, the atmosphere mixes causing the wind to increase and get gusty.  As the ground cools when it is no longer receiving heat from sunlight, the air above it cools also causing the lower atmosphere to stabilize. Wind continues to blow above this nighttime cool layer, and it may do so all through the night. Winds at this level may even increase somewhat overnight because surface friction has been replaced by considerably less friction at the top of the calm air layer just above ground level.

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