Cold & Snow Bring OBX Magic to Corolla

Whalehead Club boathouse with the Currituck Beach Lighthouse in the snow.
Whalehead Club boathouse with the Currituck Beach Lighthouse in the snow.

It snowed yesterday on the Outer Banks an it’s cold today. By any standards, it’s cold. The daytime temperatures struggled to make to 25 degrees and there was a brisk northwest wind all day to make it seem more like 12 or 15.

Even though we didn’t get much snow there wasn’t much melting. From the Village of Duck and south it was really just a coating, and it’s still laying in the ground.

North of Duck, though, it did snow.

Everything started as a cold rain on Friday night, but by early afternoon, the Village of Corolla looked like a scene from a Currier and Ives New England lithograph from the 19th century.

North of the village the maritime forest of the Currituck Banks Estuarine Reserve lost the vibrant green of summer beneath a blanket of white. There were reports that some of the Corolla Wild Horse herd was wandering through the woods, scraping the snow from grasses and plants; taking shelter, no doubt, from the wind.

The wind was a howling merciless foe along the sound. Looking into the wind, the snow—with a little bit of sleet mixed in—was painful to face. And no amount of layers or winter clothing could stop the cold from seeping through.

Yet it was undeniably beautiful.

It was snowing so hard in the afternoon that it looks as though a haze had fallen over Corolla. From the Whalehead Club, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse which usually looms over the grounds, became a towering shadow, its brick red walls an indistinct gray in the snow.

There was almost no one out during the afternoon; the wind, the cold and the snow were an effective deterrent to spending much time outside. With so few people about, there were no footprints in the snow, and no sound except for the wind and the music of falling snow.

The snow and cold weather is a temporary thing—jutting out into the ocean as the Outer Banks does temperatures rarely stay below freezing for long. But for one day at least, there was winter magic in the Village of Corolla.

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