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How to Prepare for Your Trip to Charleston – Doing Your Homework

“Winter Weather- Charleston Style”
by Amy Tankersley

Charleston’s mild climate is classified as a “subtropical” zone, which means in between “tropical” and “temperate”. But I suppose people will go on websites and see photos of “palm trees”. They’ll think “subtropical” means “tropical” and come here dressed for a Hawaiian winter. All winter, I will see cold, cherry-red little toes in flip-flops on a chilly day. Even funnier than that is their surprised reaction to the weather.
Subtropical means we will have occasional cold days. Those palms you see are not coconut palms; they cannot tolerate our winters. What we have is a slightly northern palm called a “Palmetto”. It is native to this area and can tolerate a little cold.

Average daily winter highs are in the 50’sand 60’s, with occasional days in the 70’s, sometimes dipping into the 40’s. We rarely get snow, but when that happens, the whole neighborhood brings all their snow to one spot to make a neighborhood snowman. It’s best to get him built by noon, and take pictures quickly, if you get my ”drift” (pun intended).  So bring clothes for mostly 50’s and 60’s, with a few outfits for 40’s and 70’s.  Go to Live5News for the week’s forecast right before you come. You can also google “Average weather for Charleston, SC”, to get our historic averages for the week you are here.  Our odd “in-between” type winter actually attracts tourism from the opposite extremes. For those fine folks from Minnesota, it feels like spring. And we get folks from South Florida who want a little change from their year-round tropical climate. Just enough winter to wear snuggly sweaters and feel cozy.  I love Charleston winters, so go ahead and sign up for my walking tour. Right now. Bring your historical curiosity and your sense of humor. Laughing at my lame jokes is mandatory. Start practicing now, so as to sound convincing. Consider our walking tour/carriage tour combo and save $10.00.  Stay tuned for my next riveting report about Christmas in Charleston.
I remain your humble servant,

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