Autumn in the Myrtle Beach area means enjoying cooler weather and watching hurricane forecasts. But how much cooler will temperatures be this year? And how many hurricanes are coming to the Grand Strand?
While we won’t know specifics until the weather arrives, the National Weather Service in Wilmington released its fall 2023 climate outlook, sharing long-term predictions for September, October and November. Here is what we know about the fall weather, from the NWS.
How many more hurricanes are coming?
In 2023, Myrtle Beach has experienced one tropical storm so far – Idalia, which dropped up to 7.4 inches of rain on Horry County. Currently, Hurricane Lee is passing north of the Caribbean Islands, and is expected to bring rip currents and dangerous surf conditions to the Myrtle Beach area this week.
September is the most active month for tropical storms in the Myrtle Beach area, with 40% of all storms and hurricanes since 1870 hitting during that month.
This year, four hurricanes have formed in the Atlantic Basin, compared to NOAA’s predicted 6-11 hurricanes from June through November. NOAA expected two to five of these major hurricanes to form in 2023, and so far, Idalia and Lee have both developed winds of 111 mph or greater.
Will we have a hot or wet fall?
After a summer with normal temperatures and amounts of rain, the Climate Prediction Center expects above average temperatures and precipitation in the Myrtle Beach area during fall.
However, the amount of rain the Grand Strand receives depends on the number and intensity of tropical storms, according to the NWS. The first frost usually occurs in mid-November in the Myrtle Beach area.
What will water temperatures be this fall?
In Myrtle Beach, the water temperature typically stays in the 80s until mid-September and in the 70s through mid-October, according to NWS historical data.
If you get into the water, be careful of rip currents. Fall hurricanes can increase the risk of rip currents, even if these storms stay far away from shore. September was the month with the most strong and moderate rip current reports since 2004 in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.