Weather and Climate
Congaree National Park is located in the Midlands region of South Carolina. With a humid subtropical climate, the park experiences mild winters and very warm, wet summers. The park is accessible in all seasons, but is best experienced in the spring and summer when temperatures are at their most comfortable and insects are not a problem. Current weather information can be obtained by visiting the National Weather Service's forecast for Columbia, or by calling the information desk at (803) 776-4396 during the park's business hours.
Seasonal Conditions at Congaree
Spring - From March through May can be one of the best times to visit the park. Temperatures are generally warm, with average daily highs reaching the mid to upper 70's. Rain can be a common occurrence, and thunderstorms are not out of the question. Rainfall at this time of year averages around 3 inches per month. Insects are generally not a problem during this time.
Summer - From June to August is normally the hottest time of the year, with daily temperatures reaching the low 90's with high humidity. Thunderstorms are common and can pop up with little or no warning. Precipitation is highest at this time of year with monthly average rainfall of approximately 4.5 inches.
Autumn - September through November is also a wonderful time to visit Congaree. At this time of the year average daily temperatures are in the 70's with low humidity. Fall colors peak between the end of October and early November. Average monthly precipitation is around 3 inches. Water levels are ideal at this time of year for taking a paddling trip on Cedar Creek.
Winter - November through February remains mild, with average daytime temperatures reaching the mid 50's. Nighttime temperatures can dip below freezing. Snow is not typical, though it can occur. Flooding is most frequent at this time of the year, and can happen with little or no warning. It does not have to rain at Congaree for flooding to take place. Lying in watershed the size of the state of Maryland, any significant rain in the upstate of South Carolina can cause a rise in water levels. While visiting the park, it is best to be prepared with proper clothing and footwear, especially if you are planning an overnight stay in the park's backcountry.