All About the Weather and Seasons in South Carolina

South Carolina
••• Pier in South Carolina.  Riddhish Chakraborty/Getty Images

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 extremely rare.

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.

Winter

While temperatures in the summer are usually steady, averaging a humid 90 degrees, winter temperatures are much less uniform. Coastal areas have very mild winters with high temperatures averaging about 60 degrees and overnight lows close to 38 degrees. Further inland, temperatures average between 50 degrees during the day and 32 degrees at night. Take a look at some of the average temperatures and precipitation you can expect in December, January, and February.

Spring

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 habitable weather throughout the year, but springtime is said to be the best time to visit. Take a look at some of the average temperatures and precipitation you can expect in MarchApril, and May.

Summer

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 degrees. Take a look at some of the average temperatures and precipitation you can expect in July and August.

Fall

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. Take a look at some of the average temperatures and precipitation you can expect in September,  October, and November.