When is Hurricane Season in South Carolina?

February 13, 2023

Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season typically runs from June 1 to November 30. While there is a possibility of a hurricane occurring at any point during the six-month span, August through early October are considered the most likely months for a tropical storm or hurricane to form.

History suggests that a hurricane or tropical storm will often develop in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, or western Atlantic Ocean. The most dangerous weather conditions for hurricanes occur in these areas because of their warm ocean water temperatures and cooler air temperatures which combine to create convection more easily.

Hurricanes can also bring storm surge and high winds along the coast. While these are the most obvious dangers, inland rain-induced flooding can also be deadly and cause severe damage.

Historically, 15 hurricanes have made landfall in South Carolina. Of those fifteen, three have rated as major hurricanes with Saffir-Simpson category 3 or higher winds.

One of these hurricanes, Hugo in 1989, caused a storm surge of 20 feet in Bulls Bay on Sullivan’s Island. This event was catastrophic in terms of damage and death as it generated a swath of destruction along the entire coastline from Folly Beach to Myrtle Beach.

The most recent Hurricane Ian hit South Carolina in late September, as a Category 1 storm with winds of 150 miles per hour. With this level of wind power, it was the fifth strongest hurricane to make landfall in United States history and left a swath of destruction across the state.


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