Four Distinct Seasons

Knoxville is a land that has the best of both worlds, four distinct seasons but none of the ugly extremes. It falls in what is known as a temperate climate zone with an average January low temperature of 30 degrees and an average high of 47. At the other end of the thermometer, are our warm Julys with an average low of 69 degrees and an average high of a toasty 88. Relative humidity also does not reach so high as to feel like a steam bath. It is just enough to keep the skin moist as if for a pleasant facial. Rainfall manages a relatively even distribution throughout each month. The year-end total averages about 48 inches. Snowfall will be sparse and generally will only come in a couple short episodes a year. Average yearly snowfall is only 6.5 inches. But, of course, that is for Knoxville proper not the higher peaks that surround this quiet little valley. Things can get a little rowdy when you start climbing into the higher elevations. Yearly rainfall in the National Park’s highest peaks can be over 85 inches and the snowfall depths can reach over 70 inches.

Each of the seasons brings some fun, exciting activities to mind. Spring wakes up from the winter sleep with mild temperatures, lots of rain and an explosion of color with almost every flower imaginable. Music is ever present in East Tennessee but spring brings two really huge events with The Rhythm N’ Blooms and Big Ears Festivals.

Summers can get a little hot so most folks head for the cooling waters that flow freely through the valley. Lakes will be busy with boats and rivers will have kayaks, tubers and fishermen in great numbers. Knoxville’s downtown is alive with people going to farmers markets, listening to music outside or in various inside music venues and enjoying food and drink at hundreds of great restaurants and breweries.

Fall reigns in East Tennessee because all eyes see orange. Football at the University of Tennessee catches everyone’s attention and the trees turn to those warm flaming colors. This is the driest season so the skies will be the most spectacular blue. This is the best weather for a football game or an exhilarating hike. The Knoxville Brewers Jam is a fun fall outing when micro-brewers gather on World’s Fair Park and provide samples of craft beer and lots of lively tunes to enjoy.

Twinkling lights and jingle bells excite the young and old in the winter season. Downtown Knoxville is alive with music, art and theater. First Friday Art Walk is a great way to drink in all that great culture. Knoxville’s Convention Center turns into a winter wonderland with the annual Fantasy of Trees. And, of course the Smoky Mountains get a white coating of that fluffy stuff and the air smells fresh as pine.


Contributed by Maxine Perry