With temperature swings throughout the year, Kansas City, Missouri offers four distinctive seasons to experience and enjoy, accommodating a variety of opinions as to what may be the best time of year to visit.
With daily temperatures averaging in the mid to high 70s and low 80s Fahrenheit, summers in Kansas City lend themselves nicely to pool time, outdoor concerts, fresh-air attractions, Royals baseball games, and seasonal recreation, making this the most attractive season to visit for many warm-blooded tourists. However, guests should be aware that the atmosphere can be muggy—and sometimes downright oppressive—due to high-level moisture blowing up from the Gulf of Mexico.
In the winters, chilly temps and snowfalls lure folks outside for showy holiday light displays, festive window shopping and ice skating at Crown Center Terrace. Fall is more moderate with comfortable temperatures and sunny days that create a pleasant backdrop for Kansas City Chiefs football games, apple orchard and pumpkin patch visits, and vibrant autumn foliage admiration. April showers in the spring bring blooming May flowers and warm friendly breezes that signal Kansas City’s reemergence after the winter thaw.
Fast Climate Facts
- Hottest Month: July (81 degrees F / 27 degrees C)
- Coldest Month: January (32 degrees F / 0 degrees C)
- Wettest Month: June (2.73 inches of precipitation)
- Windiest Month: April (9 mph on average)
Tornados in Kansas City
Unobstructed winds blowing across the wide-open plains of Kansas put bordering Kansas City, Missouri into the danger zone for seasonal tornados and dangerous weather systems traveling across the state line at high speed. As in much of the Midwest, tornado season stretches from spring into fall with the highest likelihood of severe weather falling in the weeks of late spring and early summer. However, it is possible for bad weather to pop up unexpectedly at any time of the year; if conditions look questionable in any way, pay close attention to the National Weather Service for issued watches, warnings, and guidance.
A tornado watch means weather conditions are conducive to the development of tornadoes. A tornado warning indicates that a funnel cloud has actually been spotted or is imminent and everyone in the area should take shelter in a safe space until the threat has passed. Always heed all issued watches and warnings and be prepared for possible power outages. Basements, underground shelters, and windowless rooms in the middle sections of buildings are the safest places to hunker down during a tornado.
Summer in Kansas City
Kansas City comes alive in the summer months when long languid days entice locals and visitors to get outside and enjoy theme parks, outdoor attractions, festivals, and recreation.
There’s no better time of year to discover how Kansas City earned its “City of Fountains” nickname, and from the Kansas City Zoo to the Worlds of Fun amusement park, there’s plenty of stuff for families with young kids to see and do. Many local restaurants offer al fresco dining, and beer gardens are a popular place to chill out with friends when the weather’s nice. Just make sure to keep an eye on the forecast and watch out for pop-up thunderstorms that can curtail outdoor fun in a hurry.
What to pack: Stay cool during the humid summer season in light layers, sundresses, shorts, sandals, short-sleeved tops, and tanks. You’ll also want to bring sunscreen and a swimsuit or two along in case the opportunity to take a dip in a local pool or lake arises
Average High and Low Temperatures by Month
- June: 86 F / 67 F (30 C / 19 C)
- July: 90 F / 71 F (32 C / 22 C)
August: 89 F / 70 F (32 C / 21 C)
Fall in Kansas City
Fall means one thing in Kansas City—Chiefs football season at the open-air Arrowhead Stadium. Fall foliage also brings in the tourists for park visits and scenic drives to appreciate the turning leaves in burnished shades of gold, red, and orange. There’s also a selection of haunted attractions, hayrides, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and pick-your-own apple orchards in the greater metro region where families can make a day of the crisp temperatures and fall-themed fun.
Weather-wise, almost anything is possible during September, October, and November. Like many of its Midwestern counterparts, KC weather can be fickle through the fall, transitioning from bright sunny skies and summery temps one day to chilly rain and hooded jackets the next.
What to pack: Consult the weather forecast to see what Mother Nature might have in store, and pack accordingly. It’s safe to assume a wardrobe of jeans, long pants, T-shirts, hoodies, and light jackets will see you through most typical autumn activities in Kansas City.
Average Temperatures by Month
- September: 80 F / 60 F (27 C / 16 C)
- October: 68 F / 48 F (20 C / 9 C)
- November: 55 F / 36 F (13 C / -3 C)
Winter in Kansas City
The jet stream can bring down frigid Arctic air from Canada to Kansas City in the winter, fueling snowfalls and freezing weather squalls through December, January, and February. Still, Midwesterners are sturdy stock—no one here lets a little snow keep them indoors when there’s fun to be had.
The Mayor’s Christmas Tree goes up annually at Crown Center to anchor a winter wonderland of holiday lights, ice skating, shopping, and seasonal festivity. Or, head inside to warm up with a live theater performance and a hearty, warming meal during Kansas City’s winter restaurant week promotion.
What to pack: Average winter highs and lows in Kansas City swing between the mid-40s and mid-20s Fahrenheit, so you’ll want to bring clothes that are sure to keep you warm and toasty — long pants, coats, sweaters, flannel pajamas, boots, gloves, hats, and scarves.
Average Temperatures by Month
- December: 44 F / 26 F (7 C / -3 C)
- January: 41 F / 23 F (5 C / -5 C)
- February: 45 F / 26 F (7 C / -3 C)
Spring in Kansas City
Spring is when Kansas City comes out of hibernation and temperatures start to rise, encouraging locals and visitors to get a breath of fresh air and picnic at urban parks, hike the area’s scenic trails and check out First Friday art gallery open houses in the trendy Crossroads district.
April showers are a real thing, but the good news is that they do allow May flowers to burst into bloom for welcome dashes of color at Powell Gardens and in pocket parks and other green spaces all across town.
What to pack: There may be some randomly hot days here and there, but it’s not quite time to bank on breaking out the shorts and T-shirts just yet. Dressing in layers of pants, shirts, and jackets is a better idea. Stow an umbrella in your bag or suitcase, too.
Average Temperatures by Month
- March: 57 F / 35 F (14C / 1.7 C)
- April: 67 F / 46 F (19 C / 8 C)
- May: 77 F / 57 F 25 C / 14 C)
Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours
|Avg. Temp.||Rainfall||Daylight Hours|
|January||32 F / 0 C||0.30 inches||9 hours|
|February||35 F / 2 C||0.49 inches||10 hours|
|March||46 F / 8 C||0.98 inches||11.5 hours|
|April||56 F / 13 C||1.88 inches||13 hours|
|May||67 F / 19 C||2.62 inches||14 hours|
|June||76 F / 24 C||2.73 inches||14.5 hours|
|July||81 F / 27 C||1.58 inches||14 hours|
|August||79 F / 26 C||1.44 inches||13 hours|
|September||70 F / 21 C||1.84 inches||12 hours|
|October||58 F / 14 C||1.10 inches||11 hours|
|November||46 F / 8 C||0.64 inches||9.5 hours|
|December||35 F / 2 C||0.34 inches||9 hours|