Living in Charleston, SC: A Mild Climate Year-Round

Posted by Lee Keadle on Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 at 11:03am.

charleston sc beaches

Home buyers relocating to Charleston, SC often ask us about the climate of our city. Charleston has a mild year-round climate, so it’s no wonder that it’s becoming the destination of choice for young and experienced professionals as well as college students and retirees. Usually people who have spent any time in Charleston have a difficult time leaving because of the miles of beaches and gorgeous marshes, not to mention the local cuisine rivals that of New York and Chicago. Outside magazine says that Charleston is the best place to live on the East Coast and Bizjournals says that Charleston is a job market leader. There is definitely something for everyone in this lovely southern city.

Springtime brings the surfers out, and the festivals are at their height. Spoleto, one of the largest annual festivals in Charleston, is truly the most wonderful time of the year to be outdoors. Early March to early June, blooms are everywhere – azaleas, dogwoods, and irises just to name a few. Temperatures range from 58 to 72 degrees on average.

Charlestonians love to spend their summers on or in the water as much as possible. Most folks hit the beach any chance they get or head out on their boat (or better yet, their friend’s boat). Kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, and fishing are popular hobbies in the area. Local farmers’ markets are hopping with locals and tourists alike (most of these take place on Saturday mornings). Charleston’s weather in the summer is warm and humid. Average temperatures are about 78 to 82 degrees, and the highs average between 87 and 91 degrees. Charleston is a coastal/port city, so temperatures are often a few degrees cooler than the towns further inland that don’t get the breezes coming off the ocean and harbor. The area’s wettest season is summer, where 41% of the rainfall occurs during this period. Short afternoon showers are frequent and make up the majority of this rainfall.

Autumn kicks off the beginning of many oyster roasts and other outdoor festivals in Charleston. Late September through early November marks our main fall season. Typically, Charleston’s weather in fall is sunny, and extreme temperatures are quite rare. On average, it is about 76 degrees in September, and the daily average falls to approximately 58 degrees by early November. Pre-season cold spells normally take place in late November.

Winters in Charleston, SC are very mild. Folks are still able to enjoy the outdoors, and most days are sunny and chilly, though if you have been in Charleston a while, you may call it cold! Winter begins in December and runs through February. Temperatures are generally about 47 degrees to 52 degrees. If you get lucky, we may have a couple days of 20 degrees or so, where you can see snow flurries. If it is icy or snowing, normally city bridges shut down because Charleston is not equipped to maintain roadways in the snow. Folks who have lived in cold climates generally find these snow days amusing. The last freeze typically is in February, and then we go full circle to enjoying the blooms of spring again. Charleston’s weather is wonderfully mild and is conducive to an active outdoor lifestyle for a person of any age or background. Learn more about living in Charleston SC!


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