During winter time along the Outer Banks, and most areas along the East Coast, you go from flatness to head high+ wind swells very quickly. In general, the winter time swells do not hang around too long, so usually you will get one good day when the frontal systems pushes offshore, and maybe a second fun day of smaller leftovers.
It is very difficult to give monthly averages, because there is so much variability during the months, and also from year to year. Last year, I would argue, was one of the best winters that I can recall, because we had a good swell event just about every week. So, one day a week, we had a very good day, and that is definitely good for east coast standards.
im actually heading down to OBX tomorrow morning for the weekend. Looks like it should be fun, dont know about the rest of the weekend though. Any in-sights about where i should check for friday, sat, sun, or mon when the size starts to drop? P.S. I share waves and dotn like getting dropped in on either..so locals i come in peace.
I would not plan a specific day(s), that is a good way to be dissappointed. Instead plan on the beginning or end of a particular month and keep an eye on the forecast. When it looks good, just take off and go.
I made a trip to Hatteras in January some years back. Plan your trip based on the weather and swell prediction. You'll likely get 2-3 days in a row of waves and then flat (or really stormy) for another couple days. If you do a 4 or 5 day weeked trip planned around a good surf forecast, it can be a real fun adventure. It's super quite down there in January, most restaurants and stores are closed but local supermarkets are open and the motels are real cheap. The water also can be suprisingly warm and a 3mil is OK but this can change. It's really a soulful time to check out the outerbanks.