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How is the Weather in Charleston During January?

Updated: July 31, 2023

January in Charleston features cool afternoons with mostly cold nights.


Daytime high temperatures during January tend to be around 56-60 F (13-16 C) with a few of the warmer afternoons reaching up near 72 F (22 C).

The record high temperature for Charleston during January is 80 F (26.7 C). 

Late night and early morning low temperatures tend to be around 41-47 F (5-8 C) with a few of the colder mornings dipping down to near 30 F (-1C).

On average, about 3-4 days this month will record lows at or below 32 F (0 C). The record low temperature in Charleston during January is 10 F (-12.2 C).

Sky and Rain

Charleston in January normally sees about 9 mostly sunny, 6 partly sunny, and 14 mostly cloudy days. Some rain falls on about 8-9 days, however, only 1-2 days record 0.5 inches (12.7 mm) or more rain.

Snow is relatively rare this month, however, occasional snowfalls of one inch or less have occurred in the past. As recently as Jan 3, 2018, 5.3 inches of snow fell which was close to the record 6-inch snowfall set in 1989.


The number of daylight hours this month increases slowly from just over 10 hours on the 1st to 10.6 hours by the 31st. 


The prevailing winds during January are gentle to moderate at 8-18 mph (12-28 kph).

Ocean Temperatures

January is not a month for hanging out at the beach as ocean temperature ranges between 64 and 66 F (18-19 C).

What to Wear in Charleston During January?

Fall weather prevails here most of the month, however, frequently can be winter-like.

A mix of Autumn and Winter attire works best this month so you should pack long-sleeve tops, a few sweaters, jeans or other long pants, boots plus a medium-weight jacket or coat. 

Things to Do in Charleston During January

It's the middle of winter, so you can expect the weather to be much colder than usual in January. Even so, if you manage to visit on a clear and dry day, you might want to consider taking a pay-what-you-wish walking tour in Charleston.

This is also the month of South Carolina's Restaurant Week, taking place between January 12th - 22nd. You can expect a lot of great deals on food during this time!

If you're visiting later in the month, consider heading to the Lowcountry Oyster Festival on January 29th.

Hockey fans will be happy to hear that the South Carolina Stingrays will have several games in North Charleston throughout this month.

If you're looking for a comedy show to attend, Tim Allen will be performing in North Charleston on January 6th.

For even more ideas, make sure to check our full post covering things to do in Charleston during January.

Fred Pickhardt

Ocean Weather Services 

About The Author

Fred Pickhardt

Fred is a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade. He has extensive experience in weather analysis, weather forecasting, and forensic weather event reconstructions. Fred founded Ocean Weather Services and currently provides forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.
Updated: July 31st, 2023
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