Average Ocean Temperatures for North & South Carolina

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Average ocean temperatures for North Carolina and South Carolina are listed below for each month in degrees Fahrenheit and degrees Celsius.

Unusually warm water bathes Atlantic beaches of the southern United States. Ocean temperatures here are typically much higher than at beaches across the country on the west coast.

The water at beaches in North Carolina and South Carolina stays warm enough from May to mid-October for most people to enjoy swimming. Ocean temperatures normally peak at over 80 °F (high 20s °C) during summer. The farther south you go, the warmer the sea.

The warm ocean and long stretches of sand make the beaches from Charleston to Cape Hatteras popular places for a summer vacation.

But the Atlantic Ocean cools sharply in late fall. Temperatures drop as low as 46 °F (8 °C) on average in February off Cape Hatteras, making it much too chilly for swimming.

Average ocean temperature in °F
  Charleston
SC
Myrtle Beach
SC
Cape Hatteras
NC
January 50 48 49
February 50 50 46
March 57 55 52
April 66 64 59
May 73 73 68
June 80 79 74
July 83 82 78
August 84 83 80
September 81 80 77
October 71 70 70
November 63 61 58
December 54 53 55
Annual 68 66 64
Water temperature averages in °C
  Charleston
SC
Myrtle Beach
SC
Cape Hatteras
NC
January 10   9   9
February 10 10   8
March 14 13 11
April 19 18 15
May 23 23 20
June 26 26 23
July 28 28 25
August 29 28 27
September 27 27 25
October 21 21 21
November 17 16 14
December 12 12 13
Annual 20 19 18

These coastal water temperatures are averages compiled by the National Oceanographic Data Center. Actual ocean temperatures do vary from year to year depending upon the weather and the flow of ocean currents.

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