Tennessee weather ranges from hot and humid in the summer to cool, and even cold, in winter. Conditions vary in different parts of the state. Get the lowdown on average high and low temperatures and rainfall before you plan a visit to the state. Tennessee's highest average temperatures generally occur in July, with the lowest average temperatures in January.
January is Memphis' coldest month, with an average high of 48.6 degrees F and an average low of 31.3 F. The average monthly precipitation is 4.24 inches. Nashville's average overnight temperature is 27.9 F, and daily highs average 45.6 F. In the mountain areas in the eastern part of the state, January temperatures can be even lower. For example, Oak Ridge sees an average low of 28 F. Winter snow and ice storms are not unusual. In January 2017, Gatlinburg received nearly 6 inches of snow.
Memphis has an average February high of 54.4 F and a low of 35.5 F, with 4.31 inches of precipitation. The city may occasionally see a winter snowfall. For example, in 2015, Memphis got a total of 5.9 inches of snow over a period of two days. Nashville sees an average high of 52 F and low of 32 F in February, with 3.9 inches of precipitation, some of that often in snowfall.
By March, the days start warming up in Memphis, with an average high of 63.3 F and a low of 43.7 F. Rainfall also increases, with average totals of 5.58 inches. Chattanooga, in the eastern part of the state, remains cool in March, with an average high of 55 F and low of 34 F.
April in Memphis sees mild weather, with average daily highs of 72.4 F and lows of 51.9 F. April is the wettest month of the year with 5.79 inches of rain. Nashville's average high is 71 F and low is 48 F, with 4 inches of rain and an average of 16 days of total sunshine in April. Unsettled April weather can bring hail storms and occasional tornado warnings.
The average high in Memphis in May is a warm 80.4 F, and the low is 60.8 F. Average rainfall is 5.15 inches. Nashville has highs that average 78 F and lows of 57 F. Lookout Mountain in the eastern part of the state is still cool, with a high of 73 F and a low of 57 F.
Memphis in June sees temperatures starting to soar, along with the humidity. The average high is 89 F and the low 67 F. Rainfall averages 4.30 inches. Nashville reaches a warm average of 86 F and a low of 63 F. June is the start of hurricane season, and while Tennessee is landlocked, remnants of tropical storms can drench Tennessee throughout the summer and fall.
Most of the state is quite warm in July. Memphis sees sizzling highs of 92.1 F and lows of 72.9 F. Humidity is also high throughout the month. Rainfall for the month averages 4.22 inches. Nashville is also hot at 89 F; Murfreesboro at 90 F; Chattanooga at 90 F. Thunderstorms are common.
Warm, humid weather continues in August, with an average daily high in Memphis at 91.2 F and an average low of 71.2 F, but highs can sometimes go into triple digits. August is the driest month of the year with 3 inches of rainfall.
Things start to cool down somewhat in September as the start of the fall season brings less humidity and pleasant warmth. Memphis sees average highs of 85.3 F and lows of 64.3 F, with 3.31 inches of rain. Nashville highs average 82 F, and Chattanooga's average high is 83 F.
October is a comfortable month in Tennessee. Memphis average highs cool down to 75.1 F, and Nashville highs are 72 F. The average number of days with total sunshine in both cities is 21. Gatlinburg is relatively cool with an average high of 71 F and low of 43 F.
November brings considerably cooler and wetter weather to the state. Memphis highs reach only 62.1 F, and the lows are 42.6 F, with 5.76 inches of rainfall and the possibility of snowfall in the colder mountain areas. Gatlinburg in the Smoky Mountains reaches highs of only 61 F and lows of 33 F.
December brings cool weather, with Memphis average highs at 52.2 F and lows at 34.5 F. Rainfall in the city averages 5.68 inches. The eastern mountain area is even cooler, with Lookout Mountain averaging a high of 48 F and a low of 31 F.