When you live in a beach area, you try to enjoy nice weather when you have it.
However, you are under the additional burden of hoping for perfect weather for everyone else's vacation. We know we need great weather, but none of us miss having enough rain to ignore watering our yards and gardens.
We have had a couple of recent summers when we suffered through months of drought. Our yards and gardens had to be watered, but the weather was picture perfect with Carolina blue skies and just some decorative puffy white clouds.
For those couple of years, we seemed to be unable to coax any rain from the clouds.
The summer of 2012 was much better for gardens and crops. It was almost as good for vacationers but it hard to beat six weeks with little or no rain if you want beach time. In the summer of 2011 we were almost rainless until we got an inch the last week of the July.
It was a dry summer with farmers losing all their corn crop. The summer of 2012 we had plenty of rain but surprisingly there also seemed to be lots of great beach time. There were plenty of days that could be rated as perfect days on the beach. This year has been somewhat different. We have had great beach days, but we have had a few rainy days.
In May we only got one third of an inch of rain during the whole month and it ended up cooler and windier than normal. Usually by May 21 our average high is 77F with an average low of 64F. The last week of May in 2013 we had a series of four days when our low temperatures were between 49F and 51F with our highs just getting over 70F. It took us to the last day or two of the month to see a day over 80F.
While May was cooler, windier and drier than normal, in June it got even windier and we got close to nine inches of rain. The temperatures were still on the cool side but at least we avoided the drought conditions of some previous years.
Fortunately much of our rain in June fell during the nighttime hours. Most of the severe weather stayed to the north of us and we had a pretty good month at the beach considering we got a lot of rain. The winds were a problem and kept many boats at the dock. There were even days when the commercial fishermen stayed off the area waters.
Our youngest daughter and four year old granddaughter spent the last couple of weeks of June with us and there were only rainy periods not whole days of rain. The first week of July was a nearly perfect 4th of July week at the beach with only Sunday and Monday being days with any rain. In fact until July 12 our coastal area was remarkably free of precipitation given what other areas of the east coast were seeing.
Our daughter who lives in the Piedmont area of North Carolina reported almost continuous rains after she went home. Many of the storms were drenching rains. Some friends near Winston-Salem have told me that their gardens have been destroyed by the nearly continuous rain in June and July of 2013. Roanoke, Virginia, just to the north broke its all-time July precipitation record of just over ten inches on July 11 with almost three weeks left in the month.
Other areas, Pittsburgh, Toronto, State College, and even the DC area have been plagued by lots of rain with some tropical downpours in July. Few people inland would believe me when I told them that our weather had been really nice the first part of July. It was pretty easy to escape the crowds here. I think a fair number of people assumed that if they were getting soaked at home, it was a bad time to be at the beach.
That turned out not to be the case here on the Southern Outer Banks for the first eleven days of July. We somehow missed all the rains that were soaking the interior of South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. If you look at this July 11 precipitation map for North Carolina which shows rainfall over the last six months, the Crystal Coast has been the driest area in North Carolina. If you are unfamiliar with the area check out this map.
Often being the driest area in the state is not a distinction that we seek out, but this year it turns out to be a good thing especially for an area that is a tourist destination.
However, weather is always a roll of the dice and finally on July 12, the rains did find us as you can see from the picture. We got just over two inches of rain from the morning of July 12 to the morning of July 13. It pretty well rained all that day and when you add some of the daylight showers we saw earlier in the week and on Saturday, July 13, this has been a much damper week. On Saturday the winds were still blowing enough to make a ride on the water less than comfortable.
We are almost to the middle of July and it has been an unusual summer for lots of areas. We have actually done pretty well here in our little piece of paradise and the third week of July looks like a great week to be at the beach.
The rainy day did give me time to make some great progress on my latest book, "A Journey To My Country." If you find the weather and what is happening on the Crystal Coast interesting, you might want to visit my Google+ page which is dedicated to pictures and information about the area.
Sunday morning, July 14, we are back to blue skies over Raymond's gut, and for a change there is almost no wind.