Weather in South Carolina: Climate and Average Monthly Temperature

Pier in South Carolina
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South Carolina has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. On average, July is the hottest month of the year, while January has the lowest temperatures. On average, between 40 inches to 80 inches of precipitation falls annually across the state. The state is prone to thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Snow is scarce.

During the summer months, temperatures in South Carolina average 90 F (32 C), dropping to 70 F (21 C) at nighttime. Winter can be much more variable: Coastal areas average around 60 F (16 C) during the day, but further inland, in Piedmont, high temperatures are around 50 F (10 C) and can drop to freezing at night.

Learn more about average temperatures and rainfall to help you plan your travel to South Carolina during any season of the year. You can look into month-by-month tables that list weather information for several South Carolina spots in different areas of the state, including some of the most popular travel destinations.

Fast Climate Facts

  • Coldest Month: January, 32 F / 0 C
  • Hottest Month: July, 90 F / 32 C
  • Wettest Month: July, 4.8 in.

Winter in South Carolina

While temperatures in the summer are usually steady, averaging a humid 90 F (32 C), winter temperatures are much less uniform. Coastal areas have very mild winters with high temperatures averaging about 60 F (15 C) and overnight lows close to 38 F (3 C). Further inland, temperatures average between 50 F (10 C) during the day and 32 F (0 C) at night.

What to Pack: While you won't often need an extremely heavy coat in South Carolina, you will want to pack sweaters and a medium-weight jacket for layering. Day-time temperatures are quite pleasant throughout the state, but at night, you'll want warmth to protect you from the chill. A hat, gloves, and a scarf are rarely necessary.

Average Temperatures by Month

December: 54 F (12 C) / 34 F (1 C)

January: 52 F (11 C) / 32 F (0 C)

February: 56 F (14 C) / 35 F (2 C)

Spring in South Carolina

South Carolina is vulnerable to tornadoes. Tornadoes happen mostly in the spring with a secondary peak in November. Some notable tornadoes have struck South Carolina and the state averages around 14 tornadoes annually. There have been no F-5 (the highest category) tornadoes on record but over a dozen F-4 tornadoes have occurred in many counties in South Carolina. The capital city district, which is located in the state’s central region around Columbia, has comfortable weather throughout the year, but springtime is said to be the best time to visit.

What to Pack: Spring weather can be unpredictable, so pack accordingly. Think light layers and a comfortable jacket. While the spring months aren't unusually wet, the occasional spring thunderstorm is common, so an umbrella is still a good idea.

Average Temperatures by Month

March: 65 F (18 C) / 41 F (2 C)

April: 73 F (23 C) / 48 F (9 C)

May: 80 F (27 C) / 57 F (14 C)

Summer in South Carolina

Hail and damaging winds often occur in summertime thunderstorms. Tropical cyclones and afternoon thunderstorms, due to hot and humid conditions, contribute to precipitation during the summer and early fall months. Tornadoes are very uncommon in the summer unless a tropical cyclone is in the area. The northern coastal region located around Myrtle Beach can be comfortable year-round, but during the summer months, the temperatures can climb upwards of 90 F (32 C).

What to Pack: Summers are hot and humid. Be prepared with light, breathable fabrics that will wick away moisture to keep you cool. Shorts, t-shirts, and sandals (combined with plenty of sunscreen) are a good idea. Temperatures at night can get cool, making a light jacket or sweatshirt a welcome addition, too.

Average Temperatures by Month

June: 88 F (31 C) / 66 F (19 C)

July: 90 F (32 C) / 69 F (21 C)

August: 89 F (31 C) / 69 F (21 C)

Fall in South Carolina

The state is prone to tropical cyclones. Although the hurricane season is from June through November, the peak time is from early August to early October when tropical cyclone frequency is highest. Major hurricanes can impact the Palmetto state, though no category 5 (the highest category) hurricanes have hit South Carolina in recorded history.

The upcountry region of the state around the city of Greenville has a climate that is fairly comfortable throughout the year. Fall is one of the best times to visit the Greenville area. The fall foliage and autumnal festivals can be fun for the whole family.

What to Pack: Temperatures begin to drop during the fall, making sweaters and light jackets a necessity. Daytime temperatures are still pleasant, so it's likely that you'll be able to wear your summer clothes for much of the day and then top it off with a warm jacket or pullover during the evening.

Average Temperatures by Month

October: 73 F (23 C) / 50 F (10 C)

November: 63 F (18 C) / 41 F (5 C)

December: 54 F (12 C) / 34 F (1 C)