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Remembering the 2018 Snow that Blanketed Folly Beach

Folly Beach, known as The Edge of American, experienced a rare and picturesque snowfall in three years ago in January 2018, captivating both residents and visitors. This event marked one of the few instances in recent history where snow graced the sandy shores and palm-lined streets of this popular beach destination, creating a unique and enchanting winter landscape.


Folly Beach Snow 2018 taken from Facebook video: Jonathan Cummings


The snowfall in Folly Beach and the Charleston areas in January 2018 was significant, especially considering the rarity of such events in this region. Charleston, including Folly Beach, recorded approximately 5 to 6 inches of snow during this storm. This level of snowfall was quite unusual for the area, known for its mild winters and infrequent snow events. The accumulation was enough to cover the beaches and streets, creating a winter wonderland scene in a typically warm and sunny environment.

Video Captured the Rare & Beautiful Event

Historical Context

Snow in the coastal areas of South Carolina is an infrequent occurrence. Folly Beach, known for its warm, subtropical climate, typically enjoys mild winters, making the 2018 snowfall a notable anomaly. The last significant snow event in the Charleston area before 2018 was in 1989.

The most significant snowfalls in Charleston, SC, historically have been quite remarkable, especially considering the city’s typically mild climate. Here are some of the top measurable snow events in the area:

  1. December 23, 1989: This date holds the record for the greatest amount of snow in one day, with a total of 6 inches of snowfall. Additionally, this period in 1989 also set the records for the greatest amount of snow in two and three days, with 7.5 inches and 8 inches respectively. This year also marked the greatest cumulative snowfall for a single season in Charleston, totaling 8.9 inches​​​​.
  2. February 10, 1973: This day experienced a significant snowfall of 5.4 inches. The year 1973 also recorded a notable annual snow accumulation of 7.1 inches, marking it as one of the heavier snow years in Charleston’s history​​​​.
  3. February 13, 1899: This date saw a snowfall of 3.2 inches. This event is notable for its occurrence in the 19th century, a period with less frequent snowfall records​​.
  4. December 15, 1943: Charleston recorded 2.1 inches of snowfall, making it a significant event for that time. The year 1943 also had a cumulative snowfall of 2.1 inches​​.
  5. January 3, 2018: More recently, Charleston experienced a significant snowfall, with 5.3 inches recorded. This event is memorable for its rarity in the modern era​​.

These events highlight the occasional yet memorable instances of substantial snowfall in Charleston, SC, an area more known for its warm, subtropical climate than for its winter snow.

The Snowfall of January 2018

On January 3, 2018, a powerful winter storm, often referred to as a “bomb cyclone,” impacted the East Coast of the United States. This storm brought unusually cold temperatures and significant snowfall to regions that rarely experience such wintry conditions. Folly Beach received several inches of snow, a striking contrast to its usual sunny and sandy environment.

Impact on the Community

The snowfall created a surreal and picturesque scene, with palm trees and beachfront properties blanketed in white. Locals and tourists alike seized the opportunity to experience and capture the rare sight. Children built snowmen on the beach, while others took to the streets and beaches for impromptu snowball fights and winter photography.

Despite the beauty and novelty, the snowfall also presented challenges. The Charleston area, including Folly Beach, is not equipped for heavy snow and ice. The storm caused travel disruptions, with icy roads leading to closures and delays. Emergency services worked diligently to ensure public safety and clear roadways.

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