Almost anyone on the east coast will tell you that it has been a long wait for spring.
It is not unusal for spring to unfold slowly here on the coast of North Carolina instead of exploding as it does in interior North Carolina and Virgina.
We are surrounded by water and that usually has some advantages. It protects us from the coldest temerpartures during winter days and usually helps insulate us from very hot days during any early taste of summer. Of course you have to get some hot weather for that to work and this year we are having a challenge finding our normal spring much less any early summer heat.
Even so the early part of tax-week was a fairly normal spring weather week on the Crystal Coast. From April 11 until April 14, we had low temperatures in the upper fifties to the mid-sixties. Our high temperatures were in the mid-seventies. On April 15 we got stuck in the sixties and then our temperatures fell off a cliff. The morning of April 16 our low temperature was 38F. We crawled back to the mid-fifties on Wednesday, April 16, and made it into the low sixties on Thursday and Friday.
Since late Friday night, April 17, we have endured forty-eight hours of wind and rain and temperatures stuck just barely above 50F. The rainfall total for the storm is three inches. We expect to find that some of our early vegetables have been harmed by the relentless wind.
Normally when you have a storm, there are others in the nearby area that join you in the misery. While most of Carteret County and parts of the Outer Banks have been battered by this storm, areas as close as 40 to 50 miles inland have avoided the worst of the storm. As you can see from this image from the Weatherunderground, the White Oak River and Emerald Isle have been clipped by the nasty weather while much of the area has avoided it.
You cannot do anything about the weather except for wait for it to change and complain about it until it does. The only silver lining that I have thought of so far is that the sod that I put down the last couple of weeks will not have to be watered for a long time.
Certainly this weather and the lingering cold of early spring have delayed the first strawberries of 2014. We have always managed to enjoy some local strawberries by the third week of April in the seven years that we have lived here. Unfortunately that will not be the case in 2014.
The warmer weather will be back so there is no reason to panic. Every spring is different, but I do not think we have fallen completely off the track this year. I have already answered the call of the river and enjoyed my first kayak trip of the year. It was a short one because of the wind, but it was a start to the season. I also got in a nice long beach walk during some warm weather at the end of March and each trip out on the river with the skiff reminds me of how fortunate we are to have a boating season that spans the year. Things will get better and we might be yearning for some of this moisture and cool weather in July or August.
We can only hope that our storm moves away and there is no deviation from the forecast of temperatures near the eighties by the end of the week. I know that I am counting on some true spring waters and local strawberries as soon as possible.