- Grand Strand Weekend
- South Carolina for Kids
- South Carolina Bar-B-Que
- A Midlands Weekend
- Civil War Adventures
- South Carolina Waterways
- Three Days in Horse Country
- South Carolina for Seafoodies
- South Carolina Kitsch
- Gullah and African American History
- Upstate Weekend
- South Carolina’s Top Ten for Golfers
- South Carolina’s Offbeat Festivals
- Southern Comforts
- Lowcountry Romance
The major weather phenomenon for residents and visitors alike is the mighty hurricane. These massive storms, with counterclockwise-rotating bands of clouds and winds pushing 200 miles per hour, are an ever-present danger to the southeast coast June–November of each year (the real danger period is around Labor Day).
As most everyone is aware now from the horrific, well-documented damage from such killer storms as Hugo, Andrew, and Katrina, hurricanes are not to be trifled with. Old-fashioned, drunken “hurricane parties” are a thing of the past for the most part, the images of cataclysmic destruction everyone has seen on TV having long since eliminated any lingering romanticism about riding out the storm.
Tornadoes—especially those that come in the “back door” through the Gulf of Mexico and overland—are a very present danger with hurricanes. As hurricanes die out overland, they can spawn literally dozens of tornadoes, which in many cases prove more destructive than the hurricanes that spawned them.
Local TV, websites, and print media can be counted on to give more than ample warning in the event a hurricane is approaching the area during your visit. Whatever you do, do not discount the warnings. It’s not worth it. If the locals are preparing to leave, you should too.
Typically when a storm is likely to hit the area, there will first be a suggested evacuation. But if authorities determine there’s an overwhelming likelihood of imminent hurricane damage, they will issue a mandatory evacuation order. What this means in practice is that if you do choose to stay behind, you cannot count on any type of emergency services or help whatsoever.
Generally speaking, the most lethal element of a hurricane is not the wind but the storm surge, the wall of ocean water that the winds drive before them onto the coast. During Hurricane Hugo, Charleston’s Battery was inundated with a storm surge of over 12 feet, with an amazing 20 feet reported farther north at Cape Romain.
© Jim Morekis from Moon South Carolina, 4th Edition