Election 2016: Dry, mild weather to greet voters in South Carolina, Nevada on Saturday

Warmer Weekend Coming, Snow Next Week?
Warmer Weekend Coming, Snow Next Week?

By Brian Lada, AccuWeather Meteorologist

Voters heading out to the polls on Saturday, Feb. 20, can expect mild weather and dry conditions for the next step in the 2016 Presidential Election.

Saturday will feature two separate elections, the Republican primary in South Carolina and the Democratic caucuses in Nevada.

The weather in both states on Saturday is forecast to be much better for people traveling to the polls than it was in New Hampshire and Iowa when voters encountered cold air and snowy conditions.

South Carolina

Warm air will greet Republicans for South Carolina's primary election on Saturday, but some voters may also encounter unsettled weather.

"It appears temperatures [in South Carolina] will be at or above average as high pressure begins to move eastward off the Southeast coast," AccuWeather Meteorologist Edward Vallee said.

This would translate to high temperatures in the mid-60s to mid-70s F across much of the state.

However, Vallee added that an approaching front could trigger a shower in the upstate counties at some point. If so, it will only pose a minimal effect on those participating in the election.

Polls will be open on Saturday from 7:00 a.m. EST to 7:00 p.m. EST.

"Having more than 3 hours of sunshine and a low relative humidity all contribute to high turnout, all of which should be met or exceeded on voting day," Rosemary Radish said, AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions business intelligence manager.

"Windy days have deterred female voters in the past, but the forecast is showing calm winds, so again good voter turnout," Radish added.


People heading to the polls in Nevada can expect similar weather conditions as those in South Carolina.

According to Vallee, temperatures across Nevada on Saturday will run near or above normal.

As a result, temperatures will reach into the mid-50s to lower 60s in some of the state's largest cities, including Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno and Carson City.

Other areas may experience lower temperatures, particularly in the more mountainous parts of the state, but overall temperatures are still expected to be near or above their typical mid-February levels.

"Storms taking aim on the West Coast during Thursday and Friday should have pushed to the east of Nevada by Saturday," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. "It is possible that if the storms are a bit slower, then spotty showers may linger into the first part of the day."

Nevada's Democratic caucuses are set to start at 11 a.m. PST.

Dry conditions paired with the warmer-than-normal weather in both Nevada and South Carolina may lead to a higher percentage of eligible voters heading to the polls to cast their ballots, compared to New Hampshire and Iowa when cold and snowy conditions deterred some voters.

In a recent survey conducted by AccuWeather, 30 percent of people said that inclement weather would deter them from voting.

Even if showers do dampen South Carolina on Saturday, it will not necessarily deter voters. According Radish uncomfortable conditions such as frigid or hot and muggy weather play a bigger role than rain when it comes to deterring voters from heading out to the polls.

South Carolina weather center
Nevada weather center
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After Saturday, the next round of voting will take place in Nevada on Tuesday, Feb. 23, for the Republican caucuses, followed by the Democratic primary in South Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 27.

These will be the last elections before the highly anticipated Super Tuesday, or SEC Primary, when 13 different states hold primaries or caucuses for both the Democratic and Republican parties. Super Tuesday will take place on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.