Winter has been pretty nice to us here along the Carolina coast. About the only snow storms have been in our memories. When our New England friends got their recent blizzard, we got 2.7 inches of rain.
The weather after our drenching storm was nothing to complain about in February. On February 12, I took ride out on the river in our skiff. There was plenty of blue sky and the water temperature even out in the river was a respectable 56.6F. However, we knew the good weather could not last forever.
On Saturday, February 16, we awoke to a temperature of around 40F. Unfortunately we learned that our high for the day would not be much better than that and we might get a little taste of snow.
Snow is not unheard of here on the coast. A couple of years ago we had some cold weather and what I guess could be called an old-fashioned coastal winter. We have not gotten any where close to that this year.
Our weather on February 16, 2013, could easily be described as a gloomy winter day but it is hard to make it into a serious winter day. We did live with the tiniest threat of a little snow. One of our local weathermen said we had a good chance of getting between a trace and 1/4 of an inch. I am hoping my Canadian friends never hear about that forecast.
As someone who lived in a "snow belt" in Canada, I am not even sure 1/4 of an inch of snow registers as a trace. We lived through some amazing storms in our sixteen years in Canada. I cleaned away tons of snow on our farmstead.
We were serious when we joked that the road crews in New Brunswick where we lived would not even run the big snow plows unless we got more than six inches of snow. It was not worth their time. That little dab of snow just smoothed out the bumps in the road.
All kidding aside, I suspect we will survive our brush with winter. The tiny bit of slush on our front porch was gone not long after it arrived. The weather forecast for the next week shows two days with 60F temperatures so if this is our winter, it is not going to last very long. I still have only abandoned my crocs once this winter. I have only worn gloves on my morning hikes twice.
It is normal for coastal North Carolina to get two or three cool days and then we will break out of that pattern and usually get some warmth for a few days. As we get towards the end of the February, the sun gets stronger and it is harder for the cold to last more than a day or two. Once the waters that surround us warm, it is hard for the cold to do much with the area. That is one reason our Decembers can be so spectacular.
Sunday February 17 is about as cold a day as we see in most winters. If the weathermen are right, the temperature will not get above 38F. That really is a cold day for the Crystal Coast. Usually we consider it a cold day if we do not break 50F.
Not getting above 40F makes it one of those days when I will think back on some warmer weather to keep the cold from making me think we are actually in winter.
Usually our winter sunshine keeps the cold from penetrating my psyche and helps me continue focusing on an early spring.
Most years that is the way it works out. March 2012 started as an unusually warm month but we cooled off by the time we got to April. Then May brought us some great weather except we finished the month with a very rare twister.
I sometime think that part of the pleasure of living here is not knowing exactly what the weather is going to bring except we can usually guarantee a few hot days in August. On Christmas day 2012, the weather was so nice I went kayaking on our big river. Two years earlier, we had snow on our dock the day after Christmas. I will also admit that three years ago on February 16, 2010, we got some real snow.
Still this is North Carolina and spring will be here no matter what in a few weeks. In just over a month, I will be planting my tomato plants. With luck and a little warm weather along the way, I will be enjoying a home grown tomato by the end of May.
Growing things is part of living here on the coast, and the great weather we have makes it a lot of fun even it we do see a flake or two of snow once in a while.
Most of time that blue sky and blue water you see at the top of the post makes you forget about the temperature. Our nice weather also attracts some very interesting visitors including our newest feathered friend, Frank29x.