does it snow in memphis tennessee

Does it snow in Memphis Tennessee? The weather in Memphis is just perfect for your next vacation, and there is a lot to see, no matter when you decide to visit.

Summers are relatively hot, but those sunny days are perfect for outdoor activities like river walks, and BBQs. And winters are mild, making them just as impressive for tourists.

However, many people ask, “Does it snow in Memphis, Tennessee?” Seems unlikely, right?

Well, let’s find out more now!

Yes, Memphis does get snow, usually under 3.0 inches a year, but it is much less snowy than most parts of Tennessee. 

More about Memphis and Its Climate

memphis tennessee climate

The weather in Memphis always keeps you guessing, which is kind of charming in its unique way.

Here is what you are going to expect in terms of average temperatures throughout the year:

Avg. Temp40°F44°F53°F63°F71°F79°F82°F81°F74°F63°F52°F44°F

Seasons in Memphis Tennessee

memphis tennessee seasons

Summers here are seriously intense. They are really long, super hot, and really humid, lasting about four months from late May to late September.

During this time, you can expect temperatures to go above 83 degrees Fahrenheit. July is definitely the winner when it comes to being the hottest month.

The temperatures can reach a scorching 91°F during the day and drop down to a still pretty warm 74°F at night.

Yeah, so you have to make sure to keep that AC blasting and maybe go for a swim in a pool. 

Winters in Memphis

memphis tennessee winter

Winters are a whole other ballgame. They are short but can get pretty cold. The cold season lasts for about three months, starting in late November and ending in late February.

During this time, the temperatures typically stay below 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you stay warm and have your hot cocoa ready. 

Average High and Low Temperatures in Memphis

memphis tennessee temperature

During the year, temperatures typically go from around 34 degrees Fahrenheit to about 91 degrees Fahrenheit.

You rarely see the temperature go below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above 97 degrees Fahrenheit. And the skies in Memphis tend to be partly cloudy all year long.

Here is the average high and low temperatures in Memphis, Tennessee:

Avg Low34°F37°F46°F54°F63°F71°F74°F72°F65°F54°F45°F37°F
Avg High50°F54°F64°F73°F81°F88°F91°F90°F84°F74°F62°F52°F
Fact: January is the coldest month, with temperatures dropping to around 34°F and reaching highs of about 50°F. 

Does It Snow in Memphis Tennessee?

memphis tennessee snow

Yes, it is possible, but do not anticipate a white Christmas.

But, how often does it snow in Memphis, TN? Not very often, really.

There is a small amount of snowfall in the city. From December 19th until February 28th, the snowy season lasts a relatively brief 2.3 months. At this time, snowfall of at least an inch is possible.

With an average of 1.5 inches, February is the snowiest month here.

As a result, February is your best shot for seeing snow this winter. Memphis is not the North Pole, after all. Typically, the snow disappears quite rapidly.

Jan1.4 inches
Feb1.5 inches
Mar0.4 inches
Apr0.0 inches
May0.0 inches
Jun0.0 inches
Jul0.0 inches
Aug0.0 inches
Sep0.0 inches
Oct0.0 inches
Nov0.1 inches
Dec0.9 inches
Fact: On average, Memphis experiences its coolest monthly low of 30.3 degrees Fahrenheit in January.   

Climate Average in Memphis Compared to the Country

memphis tennessee climate average compared country

If you are in Memphis when it snows, savor the moment. This is an uncommon treat for the area. But, you will notice that the weather in Memphis is quite different compared to the rest of the country.

For instance:

ClimateUnited StatesMemphis
  Rainfall38.1 in.54.1 in.
  Snowfall27.8 in.3.0 in.
  Precipitation106.2 days108.4 days
  Sunny205 days218 days
  Avg. July High85.8°90.9°
  Avg. Jan. Low21.7°30.3°
  Elevation2443 ft.259 ft.
Fact: The city of Memphis is one of the warmest in Tennessee, with only 0.1 days a year recording a low temperature below zero degrees Celsius. 

History of Snowfall in Memphis Tennessee

snowfall history in memphis tennessee

You may have gathered the fact that snow in Memphis is not a regular occurrence. But, the city has seen some snowy winters in the past.

For instance:

  • The winter of 1917-18 was the winner with a huge amount of snow, measuring 25.1 inches. Really, that was a whole bunch for Memphis!
  • Coming in a close second was the winter of 1891-92, which saw a total of 24 inches of snowfall. It was kind of like a small version of a magical winter place.
  • The winter of 1967-68 was pretty good too, with a total of 23.8 inches of snow.
  • In 1984-85, the city witnessed a total of 20.7 inches. And that was plenty of snow to make a couple of snowmen.
  • The winter of 1959-60 also made the list because it had a total of 20.5 inches of snow.
  • If we take a trip down memory lane to the years 1909-1910, we can see that Memphis experienced a total of 18.2 inches of precipitation. Not bad at all.

What Contributes to Low Snowfall in Memphis Tennessee?

memphis tennessee low snowfall

It is obvious that you are not going to see a lot of snow in Memphis. But, what do you think is the reason behind that?

Here are some possible explanations: 

Subtropical Climate

memphis tennessee subtropical climate

First of all, Memphis, Tennessee, has a humid subtropical climate.

What this translates to is warmer summers and milder winters.

The conditions for heavy snowfall are not present in this environment. 


snow location inmemphis tennessee

Location is key when you talk about snowfall. At 35 degrees north latitude, Memphis is too far south to have heavy snowfall very often. The further north you travel, the more snow you may expect to see.

Memphis is also out of the way of the major snow-dumping low-pressure storms. Memphis rarely gets snow because these storms tend to go north or south of the city. 

The Role of the Gulf of Mexico

gulf of mexico

The Gulf of Mexico plays a part.

While it does provide moisture to the air, it also raises the temperature. Because of that, snow is less likely to accumulate than it would be otherwise.

Fact: Even if it does snow in Memphis, the ground is usually too warm for the snow to stick.   

Climate Change Impact on Memphis Snowfall

memphis tennessee climate change impact

Memphis is seeing less snow due to global warming.

There have been fewer days cold enough for snow because of the city’s average winter temperature rising by 3 degrees Fahrenheit during the previous 50 years.

Predictions of continued warming mean much less snow in Memphis than usual. Furthermore, La Nia, which will be present during the winter of 2022-2023, brings even warmer conditions to the area, reducing the likelihood of snowfall even further.

Climate models also predict less cold air outbreaks in the future for the southeast United States, including Memphis. 

An Important Consideration

memphis tennessee consideration climate

As a result, less snow will fall throughout the area.

Scientists agree that the southeastern United States is experiencing less snow as a result of climate change-induced warmer winters.   

La Nina Impact on Memphis Snowfall

memphis tennessee la nina impact

Snowfall in Memphis generally becomes considerably less likely during a La Nina year.

First, La Nina typically causes drier, warmer winters in the southeast United States, reducing the likelihood of snowfall.

Second, powerful La Nina occurrences have been associated with warmer-than-average January temperatures in Memphis. That makes it even less likely to be chilly enough for snow to fall.

Third, Memphis has never seen winter temperatures in the coldest third of all winters during any of the five strongest La Ninas on record. 

An Important Consideration

memphis tennessee la nina consideration

During La Nina, storms that bring snow and severe weather tend to move farther north.

This helps keep Memphis, Tennessee, safe from heavy rain and snow.   


Does it snow in Memphis Tennessee? Yes, it is possible to see snow in Memphis, but it will never be as snowy as many other places in Tennessee.

There has been more snow in the past, but things have changed quite considerably, especially due to climate change.

Even though you are not going to find much snow in Memphis, you can still find many opportunities to enjoy your vacation in this part of the world.