OBX Winter Windsurfing

click to enlargeMichael from The Peconic Puffin inquired about winter sailing on the OBX in a post comment thread, and I thought this would make a fine new post. Winter does get cold here especially from Jan though mid-March. Over the years, there have not been too many windsurfing days during this time period; though usually if we decide to hit the water, it will be ahead of a strong cold front producing unseasonably warm weather. Sometimes we will see 70+ degree air and 25+ knot SW winds. Water temps primarily remain warmer in the ocean as compared to the sounds. The southern facing ocean beaches will find the warmest water since the Gulf Stream flows just offshore (see SSTH Imaging). The water down there rarely drops below 55 degrees, and often hovers in the mid 60s depending upon the offshore current. NE winds seem to bring the warm surface water from the Gulf Stream in while SW winds blow it out to sea. Therefore, we may see 70+ degree air, but water in the low to mid 50s, or on the flip side, 40 degree air, and water in the mid 60s. Its an interesting and dynamic climate on the OBX, especially in Hatteras.