We are early in third week of January 2015. Today was the exact opposite of the picture I included from earlier in the week. There was no blue sky today and I did not even go on my neighborhood hike that I almost never miss.
The wind is blowing and the rain is hitting the windows on the house tonight. We will likely get from one to two inches of rain overnight. We are spinning up another Nor'easter for my friends up the coast. We will have rain and this time they will be slammed with snow.
Because of all that, today would have been a great day to visit the Crystal Coast. That is especally true if you might be thinking about living here. One of the things that I learned long ago is that if you are planning on choosing to live in an area, you need to see it at times when the folks doing the tourist brochures are hiding.
Everyone knows that the beach is often spectacular during the summer. Emerald Isle can be a festive place when filled with summer visitors. Sometimes it is so festive around July Fourth that I hardly leave our inlet. Still our beaches are not really that crowded if you compare them to most other popular beaches. I stay close to home during the peak of summer simply because I have all that I need for fun where I live and as a resident I have plenty of time to enjoy the beach when there are fewer people and the sun is not as unforgiving as it is in July.
While it is usually very pleasant on the beach during summer, if you are going to be a full time resident, it is important to know what it is like when the weather is not so nice. More often than not folks moving from the North to South are most worried about the grip of summer's heat and the oppressive humidity that might be waiting for them.
In spite of that I have seen few people run from the heat and humidity. Most who move here enjoy the warmth and we have plenty of water options to get away from the short spells of heat and humidity. However, there are fewer local options to escape from our short, quiet winter.
I have seen people move because it gets "too quiet in the winter" or they cannot take the winter rains. You can check the weather stats and quickly find out that we have more than our fair share of sunshine. We are sunny 59% of the time and average nine clear days a month. Wintering here certainly is not an unpleasant experience. We have our fair share of warmth in the winter months but even with that warmth, winter on the coast is not for everyone.
January is the only month of the year when we average fifteen cloudy days. January is also a time when very little is happening on the Crystal Coast. Our average high temperature during January is close to 55F and our average low temperature is a few degrees above freezing so by many standards things are not very wintery here.
However, if you have moved here for warmth, sunshine, and the beach. January is most definitely a challenging month. If you can love our area during January, then the rest of the year should not be a problem.
So find a rainy week in the winter to visit the Crystal Coast before you decide to make it your permanent home. Our area definitely has four seasons and there are lot more pine trees and big fields here than one might guess. All that means that this area is a lot more rural that people might imagine. However if you are looking for a refuge from the modern world without abandoning most modern conveniences, we are a great spot to plant some roots.
And we do get days in January when you can walk the beach. These pictures were taken at the Point on Emerald Isle on January 19, 2015. No coat was harmed in the taking of these pictures.