On the afternoon of December 23, 2017, our outside temperature peaked at seventy degrees Fahrenheit. We were hosting a Christmas party, but I ended up dressed for the weather with shorts and t-shirt.
Since then we have gotten a dose of winter weather unlike any that we have experienced since we moved down here in September 2006. I can look back fondly at our first winter when we recorded only 19 hours of below freezing temperatures for the whole winter.
I can assure you that we got more cold hours than that today, Friday, January 5, 2018. We might have gotten to 34 degrees between two and three PM. Tomorrow and Sunday are even worse. The temperatures are not expected to get above freezing.
We are not strangers to some cold weather or ice and even a little taste of snow, but this is beach country. Most of us are here because we love the water but are not so fond of frozen precipitation. The last measurable snow before our January 2018 snowfall of four inches was seven years earlier in January 2011. That was a normal storm for us. The snow came, we enjoyed it for a few hours and it disappeared. This current storm has staying power.
This snow while not significant by northern standards came Wednesday night and likely will be around until Monday when the temperature is finally going to make it above freezing. Because this is a Southern snow, it quickly turned to ice wherever it was driven over. This ice would be a challenge to some of the best snow removal crews, but many of us at the coast live in areas without any snow removal equipment. We are just going to have to wait for the snow and ice to melt.
Fortunately, we are not being sentenced to a true Northern winter that extends into April. We are just getting a tiny but extended taste of it. Next week our high temperatures are in the mid-fifties and we do not even get below freezing. By Friday we can look forward to a high temperature of sixty-four Fahrenheit.
With the warm temperatures, this snow and cold will just be a fading memory. Unfortunately, we will have to live with the after effects of the cold temperatures which have dropped as low as ten degrees Fahrenheit. The trout season is closed until summer because of the cold stun which is no surprise given that the water temperature of the sound and river are down to thirty-four degrees. Many of our plants are not used to weather this cold so we could be replacing plants this summer.
Let us hope it is another seven years before we see any additional snow. I am counting on it being a few decades before we see cold this severe again. I had more than my share of snow in my sixteen years in Canada and I am happy to no longer start my day with snow shoveling. Naturally, I will be happy to see the snow go, but it did make for some pretty pictures. This Snowy January 2018 is a link to an online album of pictures taken near our home just off the White Oak River, a few miles from the beaches of Emerald Isle and the coastal charm of Swansboro.
If you need a break from serious winter, I hope our cold weather will be over soon. Wait a week or two and give the Crystal Coast and the beaches of Emerald Isle a try. You will find lots of guidance on having a great time here in Emerald Isle in our book, A Week at the Beach – The Emerald Isle Travel Guide. The 2017-18 print editions were just published on August 15 and are Prime eligible at Amazon. the Kindle version went live on September 20. If you are in Emerald Isle, you can pick up a black and white copy at Emerald Isle Books and Toys in Emerald Plantation. The Emerald Isle Town Office carries the color version.
The sign-up form the Crystal Coast Life Email Newsletter is below. Our last newsletter went out just before the middle of October. This is a link to A Balmy Beginning To Fall, our October 2017 edition of the newsletter. I should have another newsletter out before the middle of January.