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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fall Winds, Coastal Breezes, and Weather

One of the many reasons why the Crystal Coast is such a pleasant place to live and visit happens to be our persistent coastal breeze. While there are times that we chave more wind than we would like, much of the time the soft breeze that we have during the day and especially late evening is very welcome here on the coast. It turns out to be great natural cooling that helps us deal with the heat and humidity. Weather becomes a much more important part of life here on the coast than it might be in a city.
We have some absolutely wonderful homes here along North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks. It is certainly easy enough to find a home that shields you from the weather, but because of our coastal location weather ends up being much more important to our lives.

Part of that revolves around people spending more time out of doors when visiting or living along the coast. However, mostly it results from living very close to the natural elements.

People often come searching for homes close to the ocean. It usually does not taking much riding around to figure out that almost all of Carteret County is close to the ocean. Because of that what happens with our waters ends up meaning a lot to most of us.

The winds blowing in a particular direction can great enhance the tides. Sometimes we have an extra dose of water in the sounds because of winds and sometimes we have less than normal because the wind is blowing in another directions.

As we watched Tropical Storm Hannah slide by the area, it was surprising to find that the salt spray from the storm had impacted areas far inland. Because the storm brought us very little rain, we had to wait until the set of rain storms before plants got cleaned off.

We often hike the trails in Croatan National Forest and especially enjoy the Tideland Trails in Cedar Point. Generally we stay away from the Tideland Trails during the summer because of heat and some bugs through the marshes. There are plenty of trees so the Tideland Trails also become a great place to hike in the winter in case the wind is blowing on a cool day.

As this recent storm has been gathering strength, there have been some stiff breezes. Earlier this week when it was in the eighties, we decided to check out the trails to see how many bugs were still left. We had gotten through the first set of trees when I swatted the first bug. We hurried on to the bridges over the marsh where we connected with the stiff breeze and found no bugs. It was a trade-off, in the woods we found a few bugs and on the bridges we found a great breeze and no bugs.

I have often found that in the middle of summer, the one thing that saves me when I am mowing my yard is the consistent breeze that we get from living by the water. While it can get very warm in Carteret County, those winds that we usually have can make life here very pleasant.

Of course there are some days like today when the winds are swirling around at more than 20 miles per hour. When that happens walking on the beach is not much fun and riding around in your boat can be dangerous.

The good news is that weather systems usually do not hang around the coast for long. While today is windy and tomorrow supposedly rainy, next week looks sunny and warm.

When the temperature gets back up to eighty degrees like the forecast calls for next week, those soft breezes will again be very welcome even when I am out on the water.

This past weekend I was kayaking while we had a pretty good breeze. I managed to get an almost free ride out to the river and then the wind changed and I got a very easy paddle back to my house.

I think that might just be a case of living so close to the elements that taking advantage of them becomes second nature.

The more time you spend in Carteret County, the easier it is to understand how the weather can become a positive part of your life especially.when you do not have to worry about snow and ice.

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