Image of rolling hills on a sunny day in Tennessee in the fall

What’s The Weather Like Living In Tennessee?

Felix Homes

Jul 25th 2021

If you’re considering moving to Tennessee, it’s a good idea to scope out the state’s climate to determine if this area will be a good fit for you and your family. Weather is an enormous factor in deciding your next place to call home. Weather affects our jobs, commutes, physical energy, and overall mood. Take a glance below at some frequently asked questions about Tennessee's weather to discover if this area could be right for you!

What Kind Of Climate Should Be Expected?

A major reason Tennessee visitors become locals is that they enjoy the moderate climate. With four distinct seasons, Tennessee is particularly favorable to those who prefer variety in the weather throughout the year. Each season showcases the unique beauty of this state. Spring is filled with the blooming vibrancy of wildflowers, fall’s gorgeous foliage lasts well into November, winters are mild while occasionally bringing flurries, and summer brings a plethora of outdoor activities with its heatwave.

For those who balk at extremes, Tennessee has neither blistering summers nor frigid winters. Yearly average temperatures come in at 40 degrees for winters and around 83 degrees during summers. While the climate may still be too humid for some, especially for folks from the northern regions, the heat of most summer days is quite manageable - plus, Tennessee’s multitude of rivers, lakes, and waterfalls provides plenty of recreational opportunities to cool off!

Dry Or Wet?

Tennessee averages about 53 inches of rainfall per year, considered an above-average number in the United States. However, this number doesn’t necessarily indicate consistently drab and dreary days - in fact, Tennessee has an average of 207 sunny days, above the nation’s average of 205. This state’s sudden downpours and frequent spring/summer thunderstorms are the contributors to this higher-than-average precipitation. Otherwise, Tennessee’s weather is mostly partly cloudy to sunny year-round. Spring brings the most showers, with May ranking as the state’s wettest month. As fall rolls around, rainfall becomes less frequent as Tennessee enters the dry season.

Any Chance Of A White Christmas?

Probably not - Tennessee is ranked as one of the least snowy states and averages about 5 inches of snow per year. While Tennessee winters can be quite cold - warm coats are definitely a must - frozen precipitation is unlikely and most winters are fairly mild. Cold seasons are shorter here, lasting for about 3 months out of the year, with January ranked as the coldest month. Rain is the most likely form of precipitation in winter, as the temperature usually hovers in the low 40s. When the temperature does drop below freezing, ice and sleet are much more common than snow. Because Tennessee isn’t used to much icy precipitation in most regions, expect road closures, school delays, and hazardous sidewalk conditions. However, most northerners won’t bat an eye!

Still longing for a white Christmas? Don’t rule the possibility out! Snow is more frequent in Tennessee’s northern, mountainous regions. Those who prefer cooler weather should head towards those areas. Additionally, Nashville itself had a 2020 Christmas Eve snowfall, so anything is certainly possible.

Are Tornadoes A Concern?

While not located in the infamous Tornado Alley, Tennessee still often sees tornadoes, most commonly in the middle and western regions where the land is flatter and more exposed. Ranked #9 in the nation for tornado frequency, Tennessee’s tornadoes most commonly occur in springtime when the temperature fluctuates. While the threat of tornadoes can be unsettling (and rightly so), Tennessee takes numerous steps to ensure its residents remain safe, prepared, and informed. Because of the state’s preparedness and planning, most locals feel secure from these storms.

I’m Visiting - What Should I Bring To Prepare For The Weather?

Summer will be humid and hot - bring cool, airy clothing as well as plenty of sunscreen and water. Be sure to pack a swimsuit to enjoy all of Tennessee's water activities! The weather can change quickly in the summer, so be prepared for short downpours that last about 20 minutes. Since spring is the wettest season in Tennessee, an umbrella, rain boots, and a rain jacket are definitely advisable. While the weather warms up quickly in springtime, nights can be quite chilly, so pack a sweater or jacket.

Fall is one of Tennessee's most beautiful seasons. Temperatures are comfortable and the weather is very sunny. Just bring some layers for the cooler evenings - no need to worry about much rain! Winter months, while lacking snow most of the time, will still be cold. Warm coats (and sometimes scarves and hats) are must-bring items.

Tennessee weather can be unpredictable! Locals often joke that if you’re not fond of the weather on a given day, it will probably change tomorrow. Statistics seem to agree, as Tennessee scores a 70 out of 100 on FiveThirtyEight’s chart ranking the nation’s most unpredictable cities for weather.

What’s The Final Verdict?

Most locals really enjoy Tennessee's climate. In fact, this state is rated 7.3 out of 10 on BestPlaces Comfort Index, indicating favorable reviews from residents and a higher degree of satisfaction than most states in the nation. This beautiful state has something to offer for everyone and its moderate climate ensures that most residents are pleased year-round. Could Tennessee be your next home? Come visit and find out!