by Judith Bailey on the Hidden Gem of OBX snow and Outer Banks Weather
Having lived on the Outer Banks for almost 30 years I have learned something about the personality of this area.
In temperament, the Outer Banks most resembles cats as they play or do battle.
Someone once said that if cats were running the world there would be few wars and none of them would be lethal. Cats may give each other a good swipe or nibble on an occasional ear but it is extremely rare for adult cats to try to kill each other. Most often (after a lot of caterwauling) they agree to disagree and go slinking off to other battlefields.
And that describes our Outer Banks weather perfectly in the winter, as it is rarely life-threatening like it is in the northern states. And I have never known a winter that was one continuous engagement with bad weather.
Usually, Mother Nature gives us little breaks. Today, as I am writing this was a perfect example. It was almost 70 degrees and everyone I saw was out in shorts. (In February no less!) Last week it was 32 degrees and we were in the middle of a howling blizzard, sledding down Jockey's Ridge on boogie boards and building snowmen. And that is how it goes here. If you have ever observed cats playing, this is the lick after the swipe, as if to say, "I didn't really mean it, I still love you."
Since the Outer Banks is a clime of such moderation, snowfall is a perplexing state of affairs. We have almost no equipment to deal with it. An inch of OBX snow shuts down the entire place from one end to the other. People get out brooms and attack it or throw out table salt to try to get it to melt. I think I can say with a certainty that there is not a real genuine snow shovel in the entire neighborhood. And the roads are quite dangerous, not because of the snow, but because no one here knows (or if they are northern transplants, remembers) how to drive on snow or ice.
I grew up in Ohio and I know how to drive in winter but I prefer to stay home to avoid colliding with someone who doesn't know you can't go fifty and then slam on the brakes to stop. So I don't usually get very far from the house on "snow days." But this time I was able to get to Run Hill and Nags Head Woods and took some photographs to show you what vacationland looks like when it is in a wintry mood.