This is what you can expect from an average winter in the south east. Im in Charleston, which isnt that far from HHI and receives basically the same swell directions and is effected by the shelf.
This was in Dec. 2010
50 degree water and small waves, maybe a handful of head high days but freezing cold. Starting in feb, march we start to get some SSE wind swells that are usually straight onshore and warm air, cold water and foggy.
I went to California in December but haven't surfed since (broken arm). I would say this season was below average but with a few fun days and warm. Winter is always a good time to take a trip and escape the flatness/cold water for FLA, PR or California.
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Thread: East Coast Winter Review