The influence of sea surface temperature (SST) on atmospheric processes over the open ocean has been well documented. However, atmospheric responses to SST in coastal waters are poorly understood. Oceanic stratification (and consequently, SST) in coastal waters largely depends on the fortnightly spring-neap tidal cycle, because of variations in vertical tidal mixing. Here we investigate how changes in SST during the fortnightly tidal cycle affect the lower-level atmosphere over the Seto Inland Sea, Japan. We use a combination of in situ measurements, satellite observations and a regional atmospheric model. We find that the SST in summer shows cool (warm) anomalies over most of the inland sea during spring (neap) tides. Additionally, surface air temperature is positively correlated with the SST as it varies during the fortnightly tidal cycle. Moreover, the fortnightly spring-neap cycle also influences the surface wind speed because the atmospheric boundary layer becomes stabilized or destabilized in response to the difference between air temperature and SST.
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