ocean water

Unlike the Pacific, the Atlantic Ocean warms up significantly in the summer to make swimming and water sports comfortable for long sessions. Enjoy a day surfing, swimming, rafting, or stand up paddle boarding in the moderate swells and temperate climate in Emerald Isle from May to October.

Seasonal Water Temperatures

Spring. The late spring Atlantic Ocean temperatures range from the mid 60s by the end of April to the high 70s (Fahrenheit), by the end of June. The water is refreshing and invigorating at this time of year. Visit the ocean after a morning run or a long bike ride. Swimming is the perfect cool-down activity after a coastal workout.

Summer. Take a long dip in July while the average temperatures are in the low to mid 80s. Hours at the beach go by quickly when the water is perfect, so don’t forget to reapply that sunscreen. And by August, the Atlantic waters can consistently rest in the upper 80s making the vast ocean feel like a magnificent, enormous bathtub! Pack a lunch and stay until late in the afternoon. Then head over to the sound side of Emerald Isle to watch the sunset and reflect on the day.

Fall. The beach fun doesn’t end with the summer season in Emerald Isle. Temperatures drop slowly starting in September with the average by mid-month still in the 80s. Each year is different, but you can find swimmers braving the waves well into October as the temperature stays in the 70s for most of the month.

Winter. The winter is not to be overlooked in Emerald Isle. November thru April, the Atlantic Ocean rarely drops out of the mid 60s so water sports are not off-limits at any point in the year. Grab a wetsuit and get out there for jet skiing or kayaking on a sunny winter day.

No season is out-of-bounds for ocean recreation in the Emerald Isle, North Carolina. Keep posted with the water temperatures by checking in with the locals. The South Swell Surf Shop website features the most relevant surf reports and conditions for the area.