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The Weather in Charleston in May

Updated: March 25, 2023

This post is about the weather in Charleston during the month of May.

May in Charleston features warm afternoons with comfortable nights, but humidity levels increase with about half of the days considered muggy.


Daytime high temperatures start out around 77 F (21 C) early in the month, warming to 82-83 F (28 C) near the end of the month.

About 2-3 afternoons, especially later in the month, can reach or exceed 90 F (32 C).

The record high temperature in Charleston during May is 96 F (35.6 C).

Late night and early morning low temperatures tend to be 64-65 F (18 C) early in the month, warming to near 70 F (21 C) by the end of the month.

A few of the cooler mornings, especially early in May, can dip down around 53-54 F (12 C). The record low temperature in Charleston during May is 36 F (2.2 C).

Sky and Rain

May in Charleston features about 8 sunny, 11 partly sunny, and 12 mostly cloudy days.

Some rain falls on 7-8 days, however, only 1-2 of these days record significant rainfalls of 0.5 inches or more.


The number of daylight hours increases this month from about 13.5 hours on the 1st to about 14.2 hours by the 31st. 


The prevailing wind speeds during this month are mainly light to gentle at 4-12 mph (6-19 kph) but briefly can be moderate at 13-18 mph (20-28 kph).

Ocean Water Temperatures

May is a great time for the beach as ocean temperatures warm from about 69-70 F (21 C) early in the month to about 77 F (25 C) by the end of the month.

What to Wear in Charleston in May?

Spring turns to summer this month as both temperatures and humidity levels rise.

Generally, summer wear works this month, however, some cooler evenings and mornings might require a couple of long-sleeve tops, and perhaps a sweater or windbreaker.

Do not forget some nice evening shoes and a good pair of walking shoes. 

Things to Do in Charleston in May

Since spring will be in full bloom, this is the perfect time of year to take a pay-what-you-wish walking tour in Charleston.

This would also be a good time to catch a minor league baseball game, as the Charleston Riverdogs will have just started their season.

The spring is usually also a good time to see a concert or even a theatrical event.

You might also want to consider going on a cruise around Charleston Harbor for Mother's Day!

For even more great ideas, make sure to read our full post covering things to do in Charleston in May.

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: March 25th, 2023
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