January is the coldest month of the year in South Carolina, with average low temperatures ranging from 26° F in the mountains to 40° F in the plains. The Atlantic coast has an average of between 40°F and 60°F, while the north of the state is between 26°F and 44°F. The cold season lasts 3.0 months, from November 28 to February 26, with an average daily maximum temperature below 63° F. The coldest month of the year in Columbia is January, with an average low of 37° F and a maximum of 56° F.
The month of January is historically speaking, our coldest month of the year. Let's discuss why this is the case and also talk about how this could and has caused (in the past) winter weather in the Midlands. In terms of numbers, January slightly exceeds December as the coldest month here in Columbia, with an average temperature of 45.7 degrees. As for this year, it won't be difficult to get colder than in December, when it ended 7 degrees above normal.
In short, the next three weeks (from the middle to the end of January) have traditionally been cold for the region, with some of our lowest lows and highs recorded during this period. Many single-digit lows and highs were recorded in the 20s from January 9 to 31. An interesting thing to note is that we didn't have extremely cold temperatures on this list recently. The answer is the angle of the sun. We all learned about the seasons in elementary school and about the Earth's tilt, but here on the surface we see this change in the sky through the solar angle.
During the summer months, the sun rises much higher in the sky, so not only do we have more time during the day, but the sunlight itself is more direct, which helps to warm us up. What often happens is that we get the cold air we need, but it's still behind an approaching minimum. In this scenario, we usually end up with cold rain in the Midlands. If we want to see some flakes flying around here, around the Midlands, we need cold air in the south-east.
This isn't difficult to achieve, but of course, the time to get it up and running just before a low-pressure system approaches is the hard part. However, when this actually happens is when we have our best opportunities for winter weather. Notifications can be deactivated at any time in the browser settings. Columbia's annual BestPlaces comfort index is 7.2 (10% 3Dbest), which means it's less comfortable than most places in South Carolina.
The estimated value in Columbia is calculated as a weighted average of the individual contributions of each station, these weighted averages being proportional to the inverse of the distance between Columbia and a given station.