Many of you have struggled with a cooler than normal summer of 2014. While we have measured more than our fair share of precipitation, we have not suffered from a lack of heat. Traditional North Carolina warmth helped us harvest our first tomato of the year on May 25 and I have not been tempted to wear anything but shorts since the first of April.
However, it has taken until this next to last week of August for the heat to really take hold here on the coast. Neither heat nor humidity are strangers to the North Carolina coast but here along the White Oak River on the western side of Carteret County we managed to slide through June, July, and the first twenty-one days of August without getting over ninety degrees Fahrenheit.
Today August 22, 2014, we did break the 90F barrier for five or six hours. That is enough for me and kept me inside except for my early morning and late evening walks. I might have considered going to the beach late in the evening but a cloudbank came up and snatched our sunset away so I decided to wait for a more scenic evening to hike along the surf.
The heat is supposted to gradually decline over the next few days. Saturday our high should be around 85F. Then we head into a period of several days when we have high temperatures in the low eighties and lows at night in the upper sixties.
Actually temperatures like those are nearly perfect for those of us who like to spend a lot of time on the water. The cool temperatures at night take a little edge off the water temperature and if we get a nice breeze as we often do near the water, the low eighties are very comfortable when you are out on the water especially out in Bogue Inlet which I like to call the big water.
Getting a nice dose of summer heat actually helps us have a wonderful fall with gradually cooling water temperatures and pleasant fall air which has a lot less humidity than we feel in the summer.
It often feels like Summer in October here on the Crystal Coast. I often do more than just walk on the beach in October. I am usually wading out in the surf trying to catch some fish. If I am not doing that I am either chasing bluefish or fishing the river. Even in November or December you can find me in my kayak fishing the river in my backyard.
Because we go into fall with so much stored heat in the water and the ground, it takes our area a long time to cool off. Spending time on the beach in November can be very pleasant. Usually we do not even have frost until December. I have picked tomatoes on December 19.
So while some folks will moan about summer heat, I know it is part of living in Eastern North Carolina. There are times we suffer in the heat, but mostly we know that summer's warmth makes for a magnificent fall where we can continue to enjoy the area's waters.
It is actually easy for us to take the heat in stride. We are never far from the beach or a pool that can cool us off.
Our most recent Crystal Coast newsletter went out a few weeks ago and can be read at this link, Stunning Weather. Summer Is Here was the previous edition of the newsletter. You can also read what has been happening in the last few months on our Southern Outer Banks site or visit my homepage for more links.