Thursday, October 20, 2011


It rained quite a bit Tuesday night and most of the day yesterday. Wednesday around noon I looked out my window, and the trees across the lane were dancing in the wind. Very suddenly the wind had picked up. Powerful gusts were pounding against the side of the house. "Has Irene come back to taunt us?" I wondered! I know the wind was gusting to at least 35 miles per hour, maybe even a little bit more. It did feel like a hurricane was descending upon us.

After half an hour the wind died down to about 5-10 mph. Then came a downpour...with thunder and lightning. That continued for an hour before it settled into just a steady rain. By 4:30 the rain had stopped, but the sky was still overcast...with a hint of sunlight in the western sky. By 5 o'clock I even saw small patches of blue sky. What strange weather!

 But then, we're used to unpredictable and sometimes severe weather out here so far from the mainland. Nature, and nature's forces, help keep us connected to the real world.

For today and the next several days we're expecting steady sunshine to dry up the huge puddles all over the island.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of slavery on Ocracoke. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous8:41 AM

    We had the same weather up here on the northern beaches (I'm in Manteo) minus the thunder & lightning. I love OBX weather!

  2. Anonymous10:47 AM

    Now if it were raining cats and dogs would the police in NC shoot first then ask questions later?

  3. Anonymous11:19 AM

    The unpredictable weather is part of the magic of Ocracoke.

  4. Kevin9:00 PM

    Philip, do you have any idea how folks parsed out the weather back in the days before satellites, radar, etc..? How did they know when a storm was just a routine thunderstorm, or when it was the leading edge of something worse?

    There was a "low potential disturbance" on track to move over the coast (and here in the Piedmont, too) over the past couple of days. Started in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Apparently, rain does not deter your crew from shipping anything out. I ordered your book on Tuesday morning, arrived yesterday, Wednesday. A most pleasant surprise.

  5. Back in 1944 Aycock Brown was living on Ocracoke (he had married an island girl), and was working with the US Navy (they had a base in the vicinity of the present day NPS Visitors Center). Navy weather forecasters were tracking a powerful hurricane, and they relayed word to the base at Ocracoke that it was heading this way. Aycock went around the village nailing typed notices to trees, buildings, etc. about the impending storm. From that the word was spread from house to house in the old fashioned way, before telephones. Unfortunately, the skies were clear and everything looked calm. Few islanders believed the notices. The 1944 storm was one of the worst to ever strike Ocracoke.