Average Weather in May in Hilton Head Island South Carolina, United States
In Hilton Head Island, the month of May is characterized by rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs increasing by 6°F, from 78°F to 84°F over the course of the month, and rarely exceeding 90°F or dropping below 71°F.
Daily low temperatures increase by 8°F, from 62°F to 70°F, rarely falling below 52°F or exceeding 75°F.
For reference, on July 23, the hottest day of the year, temperatures in Hilton Head Island typically range from 76°F to 89°F, while on January 17, the coldest day of the year, they range from 42°F to 59°F.
Average High and Low Temperature in May
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the hourly average temperatures for the quarter of the year centered on May. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature in May
The month of May in Hilton Head Island experiences increasing cloud cover, with the percentage of time that the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy increasing from 37% to 45%.
The clearest day of the month is May 1, with clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy conditions 63% of the time.
For reference, on July 12, the cloudiest day of the year, the chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 58%, while on October 27, the clearest day of the year, the chance of clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy skies is 65%.
Cloud Cover Categories in May
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. In Hilton Head Island, the chance of a wet day over the course of May is very rapidly increasing, starting the month at 24% and ending it at 36%.
For reference, the year's highest daily chance of a wet day is 53% on August 7, and its lowest chance is 17% on October 30.
Probability of Precipitation in May
To show variation within the month and not just the monthly total, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day.
The average sliding 31-day rainfall during May in Hilton Head Island is increasing, starting the month at 2.4 inches, when it rarely exceeds 4.6 inches or falls below 0.6 inches, and ending the month at 3.3 inches, when it rarely exceeds 6.0 inches or falls below 1.3 inches.
The lowest average 31-day accumulation is 2.3 inches on May 6.
Average Monthly Rainfall in May
Over the course of May in Hilton Head Island, the length of the day is increasing. From the start to the end of the month, the length of the day increases by 39 minutes, implying an average daily increase of 1 minute, 19 seconds, and weekly increase of 9 minutes, 11 seconds.
The shortest day of the month is May 1, with 13 hours, 27 minutes of daylight and the longest day is May 31, with 14 hours, 7 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight in May
The latest sunrise of the month in Hilton Head Island is 6:36 AM on May 1 and the earliest sunrise is 19 minutes earlier at 6:17 AM on May 31.
The earliest sunset is 8:03 PM on May 1 and the latest sunset is 20 minutes later at 8:24 PM on May 31.
Daylight saving time is observed in Hilton Head Island during 2017, but it neither starts nor ends during May, so the entire month is in daylight saving time.
For reference, on June 21, the longest day of the year, the Sun rises at 6:16 AM and sets 14 hours, 16 minutes later, at 8:32 PM, while on December 21, the shortest day of the year, it rises at 7:20 AM and sets 10 hours, 2 minutes later, at 5:22 PM.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight in May
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
The chance that a given day will be muggy in Hilton Head Island is very rapidly increasing during May, rising from 34% to 76% over the course of the month.
For reference, on July 20, the muggiest day of the year, there are muggy conditions 99% of the time, while on January 30, the least muggy day of the year, there are muggy conditions 2% of the time.
Humidity Comfort Levels in May
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in Hilton Head Island is essentially constant during May, remaining within 0.2 miles per hour of 10.4 miles per hour throughout.
For reference, on January 29, the windiest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 12.0 miles per hour, while on August 17, the calmest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 9.1 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed in May
Wind Direction in May
Hilton Head Island is located near a large body of water (e.g., ocean, sea, or large lake). This section reports on the wide-area average surface temperature of that water.
The average surface water temperature in Hilton Head Island is increasing during May, rising by 7°F, from 70°F to 77°F, over the course of the month.
Average Water Temperature in May
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
The growing season in Hilton Head Island typically lasts for 10 months (307 days), from around February 14 to around December 18, rarely starting before January 23 or after March 12, and rarely ending before November 24 or after January 7.
The month of May in Hilton Head Island is reliably fully within the growing season.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in May
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
The average accumulated growing degree days in Hilton Head Island is rapidly increasing during May, increasing by 690°F, from 1,074°F to 1,764°F, over the course of the month.
Growing Degree Days in May
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy in Hilton Head Island is essentially constant during May, remaining within 0.1 kWh of 6.7 kWh throughout.
The highest average daily incident shortwave solar energy during May is 6.8 kWh on May 14.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in May
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Hilton Head Island are 32.194 deg latitude, -80.738 deg longitude, and 7 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Hilton Head Island is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 16 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 7 feet. Within 10 miles is also essentially flat (33 feet). Within 50 miles is essentially flat (302 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Hilton Head Island is covered by herbaceous vegetation (67%), artificial surfaces (13%), and water (12%), within 10 miles by water (64%) and herbaceous vegetation (25%), and within 50 miles by water (50%) and trees (24%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Hilton Head Island year round, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There are 3 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Hilton Head Island.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Hilton Head Island according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at Hilton Head Island is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Hilton Head Island and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Hilton Head Airport (94%, 4.4 kilometers, northeast); Hunter U. S. Army Airfield (3.2%, 42 kilometers, southwest); and Savannah International Airport (3.0%, 44 kilometers, west).
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.