Unusual Late Season Frost Possible This Weekend

May 8, 2020

Patches of frost are becoming increasingly likely over northern South Carolina this weekend.

A strong cold front that is expected to bring showers to much of the state Friday into Friday evening will have chilly air behind it. The air temperature on Saturday is forecast to barely push past 60 degrees in parts of the state — about 15 degrees below early May averages.

As high pressure builds close to the state Saturday night into Sunday morning, winds should slacken and become nearly calm. Under mostly clear skies and light winds, temperatures are likely to fall to the mid and upper 30s within about 30 miles of the North Carolina state line, away from the immediate coastline. These temperatures are cold enough for patchy areas of frost, especially away from urban areas and bodies of water.

The latest forecasts say widespread freezing temperatures are unlikely over the state, which would be a very unusual occurrence. For example, the last time Greenville/Spartanburg officially had a freeze in May was in 1989. Only 4 times in their historical freeze record, which started in 1875, has the temperature slipped to 32 degrees or lower in the month of May.

Chilly temperatures are also anticipated in the Midlands, Lowcountry, and Grand Strand, where the National Weather Service forecasts lows in the lower to mid 40s Sunday morning. Areas along the Charleston, Beaufort, and Jasper county coastlines may hold just above 50.

A few records could be broken with this cool wave. Columbia’s record low maximum temperature on Saturday is 66 degrees, set in 1923, and North Myrtle Beach’s record low maximum of 64 degrees set in 1992 are the most likely to be tied or broken. North Myrtle Beach’s record low of 43 degrees is in jeopardy on Sunday morning.