Seasons & Weather
The mountainous landscape of Northeast Tennessee can cause fluctuating, unpredictable weather patterns. In fact, you’ll often hear it said that “If you don’t like the weather, all you have to do is wait a day!” However, the Tri-Cities region typically features mild winters, a pleasant spring and fall, and hot, humid summer temperatures that usually last from late May to early October.
You can expect winter’s chill to begin fading by the time the dogwoods start to bloom in early April, though we’re prone to several surprise cold snaps throughout the spring. Old-timers call them “redbud winter,” “dogwood winter,” or “blackberry winter,” depending on when they occur.
Summer comes early in Washington County, with temperatures reaching the 80s once the sweet, pungent scent of honeysuckle fills the air in mid-May. Frequent thunderstorms blow in and out again in a matter of minutes, but the region’s high elevation brings relief from the heat in the form of cooler mornings and evenings.
Fall is a particularly gorgeous time of the year in East Tennessee, thanks to an abundance of brightly-colored foliage on the mountains and along the roadsides. As the heat of summer gradually lets up, you can observe pockets of mist collecting in the valleys, and you may hear the cry of a mourning dove piercing the morning stillness to signal the distant approach of winter.
You won’t need a heavy coat until early November or later, and though it’s snowed at least once a year here since 2010, you can continue to count on mild, fairly comfortable winters in the Tri-Cities for years to come. Keep an eye (and an ear) out for winter bird life: robins, blue jays, wrens, woodpeckers, cardinals, titmice, and various types of finches call our area home year-round.