Does It Snow In Memphis, Tennessee? All About Memphis Climate

Yes, it does snow in Memphis, Tennessee, but it is relatively uncommon compared to cities in more northern regions. Memphis experiences a subtropical climate with mild winters, which means that snowfall is infrequent. 

On average, Memphis sees around 3 inches of snow yearly, significantly less than areas further north. When snow falls in Memphis, it often creates excitement and joy among the residents, as it is rare for the city. However, snowfall in Memphis is generally not as heavy or consistent as in regions with colder climates.

Images of soulful music, delicious barbecue, and the mighty Mississippi River likely come to mind when one thinks of Memphis, Tennessee. However, how this southern city copes with winter weather may not be as commonly known. 

With its subtropical climate, Memphians are more accustomed to hot and humid summers, but how often do they experience snowfall during the colder months? In this article, we’ll delve into the history of snow in Memphis and explore how locals react when the white stuff starts to fall.

Location Overview of Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee, is a vibrant and culturally rich city nestled along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. Known for its significant contributions to American music, deep-rooted history, and diverse community, Memphis has become a popular destination for travelers and a beloved home for its residents. 

Memphis is located in the southwestern corner of the state of Tennessee, near the borders of Arkansas and Mississippi. Its geographical position places it within the Mississippi Delta region, an area famous for its fertile soil and historical significance in shaping American culture.

The mighty Mississippi River serves as a defining feature of Memphis. Its strategic location along the river played a crucial role in the city’s development as a major transportation hub, facilitating trade and commerce throughout the region and the country. 

The riverfront is a prominent and bustling area, offering stunning views and a range of recreational activities for both locals and visitors.

Memphis is a city that proudly wears its history, music, and cultural diversity on its sleeve. The fusion of blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and soul music echoes through its streets, while its historical landmarks remind visitors of the city’s significant contributions to the civil rights movement. 

With a strong sense of community and an enduring connection to the Mississippi River, Memphis continues to be a captivating destination that embraces its past while looking forward to a dynamic future.

Geography and Climate of Memphis

The geographical location of Memphis has a significant influence on its snowfall patterns. Situated in the southwestern part of the state, Memphis falls within a subtropical climate region. As a result, the city experiences relatively mild winters compared to northern areas. 

While snowfall is not uncommon in Memphis, it is relatively infrequent due to the city’s location in a region more accustomed to hot and humid weather. The combination of its subtropical climate and river proximity contribute to the city’s limited and sporadic snowfall throughout the winter.

The summers in Memphis are typically hot and humid, while winters are generally mild. However, “mild” is a relative term, and Memphians experience some chilly temperatures during winter.

Historical Snowfall Record of Memphis

Over the past century, several notable snowstorms have left their mark on the city. One of the most significant snowfalls occurred in February 1895, when a massive blizzard dumped over 26 inches of snow in Memphis and paralyzed the city for several days.

More recently, in 1994, a substantial winter storm brought 10 inches of snow, causing widespread disruption. Such events, however, remain the exception rather than the rule.

Winter Season & Snowfall Pattern of Memphis

Snow in Memphis is relatively uncommon compared to more northern cities in the United States. The city’s geographical location and subtropical climate mean it rarely experiences significant snowfall. On average, Memphis sees around 3 inches of snow yearly, significantly less than the national average.

Climate change has become an important factor to consider when discussing weather patterns in recent years. As the global climate continues to warm, even regions with traditionally mild winters may experience snowfall frequency and intensity shifts. Memphis is no exception to this trend.

Climate scientists suggest that while the overall snowfall amount may not drastically change, the distribution of snow events throughout the winter season might become more irregular. This means that while some winters might be snowier than usual, others might see little to no snow at all.

Locations to Enjoy Snow in Memphis

While Memphis, Tennessee, does not experience heavy snowfall like some northern regions, there are still a few places where you can enjoy the snow when it does come. Here are some locations in Memphis to embrace the winter wonderland:

This expansive urban park offers a picturesque setting to enjoy the snow. The open fields and wooded areas provide opportunities for snowball fights, building snowmen, and even sledding if the snow accumulation is sufficient.

  • Overton Park

Another popular green space in Memphis, Overton Park, becomes a beautiful snowy escape during winter. The iconic landmarks, such as the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and the Levitt Shell, add to the charm of this urban oasis covered in snow.

  • Memphis Zoo

Located within Overton Park, the Memphis Zoo transforms into a magical winter wonderland when it snows. The zoo’s exhibits take on a whole new charm amidst the white backdrop, offering a unique experience for visitors.

  • Shelby Forest State Park

For a more natural and rustic winter experience, head to Shelby Forest State Park, located just north of Memphis. The park’s trails and woodlands become enchanting under a blanket of snow, making it a great place for winter hiking and wildlife observation.

  • Snow Days at Local Attractions

During periods of snowfall, some local attractions may host special snow-themed events. Keep an eye on the calendars of places like the Memphis Botanic Garden, Lichterman Nature Center, or even the local community centers for winter activities and festivities.

While snowfall in Memphis is not as frequent as in colder climates, these locations offer opportunities to make the most of the rare snowy days and create cherished memories in the Bluff City.

Factors Influencing Snowfall in Memphis

Several factors influence snowfall in Memphis, Tennessee. The city’s geographical location in the southwestern part of the state places it within a subtropical climate zone, characterized by milder winters compared to northern regions. 

The proximity to the Mississippi River also moderates temperatures, reducing the likelihood of extreme cold spells conducive to heavy snowfall. The city’s elevation and urban heat island effect can further inhibit significant snow accumulation. 

While occasional cold fronts can bring snow to Memphis, the prevailing climatic conditions limit the overall frequency and intensity of snow events. As climate change continues to influence weather patterns, snowfall in Memphis and similar subtropical regions may experience shifts in frequency and unpredictability in the future.


While snow in Memphis, Tennessee, is a relatively rare occurrence, it does make a sporadic appearance, delighting locals and visitors alike. The city’s subtropical climate may not lend itself to a winter wonderland every year, but when snow does fall, Memphians embrace the opportunity to revel in its beauty and create lasting memories. 

As climate change continues to influence weather patterns worldwide, it remains to be seen how snowfall in Memphis and other regions will be affected in the future.