Snow Predictions For South Carolina 2024

South Carolina is not known for abundant snowfall, but many residents still wonder if they will see any snowflakes each winter. This article explores various 2024 predictions for snow in South Carolina from different forecast sources. We examine overall expectations as well as potential snow timeframes and amounts by region across the state. 

We’ll break down expectations for total snow amounts by region and look at predictions for the most likely snow timeframes. Historical records and typical annual snowfall patterns are also analyzed. Read on to discover the outlook for South Carolina snow in 2024.

SC Overall Snow Forecast

Overall, most forecasters are predicting a snowier-than-normal winter for South Carolina in 2024. An occurring El Niño is expected to influence weather patterns in a way that favors increased precipitation and temperatures slightly below average. Higher elevation areas of the state generally have the best chance of measurable snow each winter.

El Niño’s Influence Prediction Snow Fall in South Carolina 

El Niño refers to warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in parts of the Pacific Ocean. It influences global weather patterns, often leading to wetter conditions across the southern United States during winter months. El Niño winters tend to be slightly cooler as well. These effects increase the potential for wintry precipitation when cold air masses reach the Southeast. 

El Niño brings global impacts, usually leading to wetter, cooler weather across the southern United States during winter. The last two strong El Niño winters (1997-1998 and 2015-2016) brought exceptional rainfall and snowfall to the Carolinas thanks to an active southern jet stream.

Higher Snowfall Potential

During El Niño, southern storm tracks allow low pressure systems to tap moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. When sufficiently cold air accompanies these storms, much of South Carolina can receive snow or an icy mix of sleet and freezing rain. The last strong El Niño produced exceptional rainfall and multiple historic snowstorms in the region.

The latest outlooks show an increased chance of above-average winter precipitation and snowfall for most of North and South Carolina. Coastal locations like Wilmington have a 70% chance of upper-third historical precipitation measurements this winter. Inland cities also have elevated odds of a wetter winter.

Location Matters

Areas of higher elevation, like the Upstate region along the Blue Ridge Mountains, typically observe more frozen precipitation during South Carolina winters. Cities like Greenville and Spartanburg average 2-4 inches of snow annually. Meanwhile, the low-lying Coastal Plain from Charleston to Myrtle Beach may receive only a dusting every few years.

While most models predict higher odds of snow for the entire state, inland and higher elevation locations in the Upstate near the southern Appalachians typically see the best snow prospects each winter. The cooling effect of elevation helps snow stick more easily there compared to the warmer coastal plains.

Snow Predictions For SC 2024

Snow Predictions For SC 2024

Expert forecasters consider various factors like El Niño when making their seasonal snow predictions. Here is what some of the top weather outlets are projecting for South Carolina winter snowfall in 2023-2024.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac Prediction Snow Fall in South Carolina

The iconic Farmers’ Almanac expects “a wet winter with above-normal precipitation and snowfall” across the Southeast U.S, including upstate areas of South Carolina. While not forecasting a white Christmas, the period from late January into mid-February shows the best odds of accumulating snow. The Southeast thanks to the El Niño influence. They predict the best chances for snow will come in late January and mid-February. Their outlook does not foresee a white Christmas in 2023.

The National Weather Service Prediction Snow Fall in South Carolina

The NWS Climate Prediction Center predicts enhanced chances for above normal winter precipitation statewide. Coastal zones even have 80-90% probability of exceeding average rainfall. These wet conditions combined with cold air deliveries could lead to wintry weather events across parts of South Carolina. Still, El Niño does raise the odds of rare significant winter storms.

Local Meteorologists Prediction Snow Fall in South Carolina

Chief meteorologists WYFF’s Chris Justus at regional television networks expect El Niño to drive an active storm track favorable for icy precipitation. Scenarios of between 6 to 12 inches of seasonal snowfall are reasonable projections this winter. Timing the arrival of sufficiently cold air to coincide with El Niño-fueled storms is the big factor. This weather feature helps tap into Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic moisture to spawn major rain and snow events under the right conditions. Past El Niño years brought historic snowstorms.

AccuWeather Prediction Snow Fall in South Carolina

Noted for ambitious long-range forecasts, AccuWeather predicts not just one but perhaps two significant snowstorms for the Carolinas this winter. The periods around early January and early February show signs of cold air masses capable of overlapping moisture-rich storms blowing up from the Gulf Coast.

AccuWeather predicts increased snow potential for the Southeast this winter. They expect “slightly colder air masses” but do not see endless strings of arctic cold. Instead, the active storm track should allow for periods of snow and ice across the region.

When Will it Snow in South Carolina 2024

When Will it Snow in South Carolina 2024

While winter weather can happen from December to March in South Carolina, expert predictions pinpoint a few prime snow windows this season based on past El Niño trends and typical winter storm tracks.

Snow Fall South Carolina in December 

Don’t expect to build any snowmen in December. The Southeast should experience mild pre-winter conditions with rainfall but limited chances for snow before the new year. Christmas has only a very low probability of being “white” in South Carolina.

A few flurries can’t be ruled out but accumulation is very unlikely this early. Normal December average high temperatures of 57°F also limit frozen precipitation. 

Snow Fall South Carolina in January

Late January brings the best historical chance of accumulating snowfall during El Niño winters, according to Long Range Weather Experts. The clash of cold pressing down from Canada and ample Gulf and Atlantic moisture sources make for a favorable pattern. The Almanac highlights late January as well.

Snow Fall South Carolina in  February

Continued El Niño effects maintain an active storm pattern through February, traditionally South Carolina’s snowiest winter month. Brief Arctic cold blasts accompanying southern stream storms enhance the likelihood of additional impactful snow and ice. The stretch of early to mid-February calls for careful monitoring.

The Almanac singles out this timeframe in its 2023-2024 outlook. February is climatologically the coldest month of winter for the region, so storms stand the best chance of tapping cold air and moisture.

With the snowfall predictions of South Carolina 2024 you can also aware from the Snow Predictions For Tennessee 2023-2024 by this guide explore this also.

Snow Predictions For South Carolina 2024

While it only takes a coating to qualify as a “snow event” in the Palmetto State, most residents would prefer to enjoy a picturesque, deeper snowfall when the conditions align. Here are expectations for total snow amounts by South Carolina geographical area this winter.

Breakdown of expected snowfall by region

Upstate/Mountains: 6-12 inches

The higher terrain of the Upstate stands the best chance of winter weather. Cities like Greenville and Spartanburg could receive between 6-12 inches in scattered snow episodes.

Midlands/Piedmont: 2-6 inches

The I-20 corridor from Columbia toward Charlotte holds middle-of-the-road odds of Frozen precipitation. 2-6 inches would qualify as an above normal year, with the best chances late January into February.

Coastal Plain: Trace-3 inches

South Carolina’s southernmost cities from Charleston to Myrtle Beach typically observe little wintry activity. However, 1-3 quick-hitting snow or ice events could whitelist the landscape several times this year.

These ranges account for locations within each region, with the higher end expected in the mountains and foothills. Most coastal areas and southern midlands will fall on the lower end.

Be Prepared For Winter Weather In South Carolina

Even moderate snowfall disrupts daily life across South Carolina where occurrences of frozen precipitation tend to be inconsistent and challenging to forecast. Make smart preparations now before any icy conditions arrive.

  • Stock emergency winter supplies like flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food, etc.
  • Review generator backup plans in case of power outages
  • Install and test smoke detectors, fire alarms, carbon monoxide sensors
  • Prepare insulation, exterior water lines, and vegetation for harsh conditions
  • Check insurance policies, coverages for frozen pipe leaks, roof collapses, etc.

South Carolina All City Snow Prediction

Every South Carolina city has at least a chance of snow each winter. Here is a glance at relative 2024 snow prediction confidence levels for popular locations across the state.

City

Confidence of Measurable Snow

Greenville

Very High

Spartanburg

Very High

Asheville, NC

Very High

Charleston

Low

Columbia

Moderate

Myrtle Beach

Low

As noted previously, peak chaces will occur in the January-February timeframe. But early winter Arctic plunges or late-season events can never be ruled out when forecasting snow potential this far in advance. Stay vigilant of shifting weather patterns.

Snow Predictions For South Carolina In 2024

Period

Prediction Source
December 2023 No significant snow expected

NWS / Local meteorologists

Late January 2024 Best chance of accumulating snow

Farmer’s Almanac / Long Range Weather / Past El Niño trends

Mid February 2024 Secondary snow window

Farmer’s Almanac / Past El Niño trends

Total 2023-2024 See regional snow ranges above Expert assessments

Combining the above expectations with typical annual snow probabilities and historical data, here is one possible table of snowfall projections for South Carolina this winter.

Period

Prediction

Source/Reasoning

December 1-10

Trace

NWS Climate Outlooks

January 10-15

1-3 inches

Strong El Niño signal

February 5-10

3-6 inches

Previous El Niño snowstorms

February 15-20

2-4 inches

Arctic outbreak probability

Season Total

6-12+ inches

Favorable setup for above-normal frozen precipitation

The most sensationalized measurement is always the maximum snow depth achieved, but seasonal totals also tell an important story of winter severity. These types of analyses can lend insight into how 2023-2024 may compare historically for South Carolina snowfall.

South Carolina Snowfall Records

Here are some of the top all-time Palmetto State snow benchmarks against which meteorologists can gauge upcoming winter weather events and seasonal accumulations:

Snowfall Record Type

Amount Location Date

Greatest 24 Hour Snowfall

24 inches Whitmire, SC

1/22/1940

Greatest Snowfall One Season

29 inches Caesar’s Head

1993-1994 winter

Greatest Snowfall One Month

27.2 inches Caesar’s Head

February 1973

Greatest Snowfall One Year 29.1 inches Caesar’s Head

1988 calendar year

Consistently the highest seasonal snow totals come from upper elevations in Greenville and Pickens counties. Coastal locations near sea level have never recorded over 10 inches of snow in any single winter.

South Carolina Snow Fall History

Examine South Carolina winter history over the past decade to provide context for typical seasonal snow expectations:

Year

Monthly Snowfall

Location

Notable Event

2022

Trace Charleston ——–

2021

3.5” Chesnee

Late January storm

2020

2.9”

Chesnee

——–

2019

Trace

Charleston

——–
2018 4.3” Gilbert

January winter storm

2017 Trace Charleston ——–
2016 Trace Limber ——–
2014 1.1” Jefferson ——–

Forecasters comb through data like this seeking insights about trending storm tracks, seasonal timing, temperature patterns and analog years that can help hone snowfall projections for the current winter.

Does It Snow In South Carolina 2024?

Snow is less common along the coast and far south, but the Upstate/Midlands region typically sees multiple light snow events each winter. The higher peaks average 5-10 inches or more during years with an active storm track like El Niño winters. So while very heavy snow is unusual for South Carolina, most areas do expect to see at least light frozen precipitation during the typical December-March cold season when the ingredients come together.

How Accurate Is The Farmer’s Almanac? 

How Accurate Is The Farmer’s Almanac

The Farmers’ Almanac makes its weather predictions two years in advance using a secret formula analyzing cycles and patterns including sunspots, tides, and planetary positions. Multiple assessments over the years calculate the Almanac’s winter outlooks to be accurate around 80-85% of the time, making the publication a reputable seasonal forecast source for many.

FAQs About South Carolina Winter 2023-2024 

Is South Carolina gonna get snow this year?

South Carolina typically sees multiple light snow chances each winter, especially in the northern half of the state. Areas like Greenville and Spartanburg have high confidence of measurable 2023-2024 snow while the coast has lower odds. But winter storms are variable.

How much snow does SC get per year?

Upstate and mountain cities like Greenville and Caesar’s Head average 5-10 inches in a typical year. The midlands around Columbia normally get 2-5 inches. Coastal locations mostly measure around an inch or less of yearly snow.

Will it snow in Charleston SC this year? 

The odds favor Charleston measuring at least trace precipitation or flurries this winter. Accumulating snow happens occasionally but is uncommon right along the coast. Nearby higher terrain inland sees the best snow chances to give the lowcountry a picturesque winter scene on occasion.  

What parts of SC get snow?

The Upstate region along the southern Appalachians gets the most frequent winter weather each year thanks to higher elevation. The Midlands around the Columbia area get the next highest snow chances.

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