COLUMBIA, S.C. — December 1 marks the beginning of Meteorological Winter, the coolest three month period of the year, and the end of Hurricane Season in the Atlantic Basin. The date is a big milestone in the world of weather, but it snuck up this year because of the record breaking warmth we experienced in the autumn months.
Autumn 2020 broke or tied 8 warm temperature records at the Columbia Airport and set no cold temperature records. Records date back to 1888.
September temperatures as a whole were close to average, but morning temperatures ran above average. The airport tied daily warm morning temperature records on September 2nd and 10th with low temperatures of 77F and 76F, respectively.
October 2020 was the 7th warmest on record in Columbia with temperatures 5 degrees above average. October 29th tied a record high for the date when temperatures soared to 86F, which is 14 degrees above average.
November 2020 was ranked the 5th warmest on record in Columbia and shattered numerous records. November 11 was the warmest November morning on record in Columbia with a low temperature of 71F. No other November morning has ever been that warm. Temperatures have only stayed above 70F three other times in November.
The mid-November warm spell also broke records in Augusta. The Augusta Airport recorded their warmest November morning and afternoon on record on November 11th with a low temperature of 73F and an afternoon high of 87F.
December is here
December is the second coolest month of the year on average in Columbia. High temperatures average in the upper 50s with lows averaging in the 30s. Temperatures in the 70s occur about 5 times a month in December and have never surpassed 83 degrees. Although extreme cold is rare, temperatures have dropped into the single digits and measurable snow has fallen as recently as 2010.
December 2019 tied for the wettest on record at the Columbia Airport after receiving over 9 inches of rain. This December is trending drier and cooler, at least to start, which is not out of the norm for this time of the year.