An early taste of spring is here in the Lowcountry and wintry weather is the last thing on most of your minds right now. But I’m thinking about it! I wanted to see typically when we get our last shot of freezing cold, as well as the potential for some snow. Yes. That “s word” is a possibility still late this season, even with our record-breaking heat this week.
Let’s talk about the cold first. Cold weather will still arrive periodically as cold fronts blow on through the region, but true shots of arctic air are numbered. On average, the last freeze (with temperatures at or below freezing) for Downtown Charleston is February 6th. The dates for the average last freeze get a bit further out as one gets further away from the water, with Charleston airport’s occuring on March 8th, while Summerville is around March 25th. These are just average last freezes, we may have already had our last shot of cold air this year, and it might occur later than these as well! By mid-April the threat for freezing cold temperatures to damage your vegetation should subside.
Now onto the word that children scream for, school districts dread, and has been absent this year in the lowcountry- snow! So far we have seen nothing of the white stuff this winter season. But the chance is still there for us to see some in the next two months. In fact, over the past 30 years (a timeframe meteorologists like to use when discussing climate) there has been nearly the same number of snow events from December and January compared to February and March! Some of those events did drop quite a bit of snow here in Charleston, including our second highest snowfall with 7.1” falling in February 1973. We have even seen some snow in March with a system bringing 2” in March 1969.
So I will say there is a chance, but it looks to be a small one with the overwhelming majority of winters the past 30 years seeing a trace or less amount of snow for the season. No matter what the end of winter will bring, us here at Storm Team 2 will be sure to keep you updated!
From Storm Team 2 Meteorologist David Dickson