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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

CAPE FEAR QUIRK: Unseasonable, unreasonable cool temps continue

It's been an interesting winter here in Carolina Beach, and in the Cape Fear region and Wilmington, NC area in general. And by interesting, we mean "colder than a witch's thorax." While the mercury zoomed up to 70 last Friday, we were treated to rain (which we need) all weekend, and temps plummeted again to sub-freezing last night.

Because this latest cold snap came with a threat of snow (which would be our 3rd experience with the white stuff this year), area schools had delayed openings. That's probably a quaint idea to those in the northern part of the country. Just the threat of snow, and even just a dusting, can close schools. Can you imagine if accumulations were more like half a foot, or nine inches? Kids would be idle for days, mucking up parents' carefully calibrated schedules. And the local hardware stores would sell out of their 2 or 3 snow shovels in a matter of minutes. Pelicans at Carolina Beach State Park might get little ice cubes in their next mouthful of fish.

Fear not, though. Before you can say "hazy, hot and humid," we'll be basking in the warm glow of spring and summer sunshine. The only question remaining is: When will it be warm enough to swim in the ocean without a wetsuit? Last year, I swam comfortably on May 10. Can it warm up enough for that date again this year? Stay tuned.

By the way, the long range forecast according to the revered Farmer's Almanac calls for temperatures above normal through June, with temps below normal and precipitation above normal July through October.

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