Historical Weather For 1985 in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Location

This report describes the historical weather record at the McGhee Tyson Airport (Knoxville, Tennessee, United States) during 1985. This station has records back to December 1947.

Knoxville, Tennessee has a warm humid temperate climate with hot summers and no dry season. The area within 25 mi of this station is covered by forests (87%), croplands (5%), built-up areas (5%), and lakes and rivers (4%)

Calendar

Daylight saving time (DST) was observed at Knoxville, Tennessee during 1985. There were two time changes during 1985:

  • DST started on Sunday April 28, 1985 at 3:00 am, from EST (GMT-5) to EDT (GMT-4).
  • DST ended on Sunday October 27, 1985 at 1:00 am, from EDT (GMT-4) to EST (GMT-5).

1985 was not a leap year, so it has 365 days and no February 29th. The first leap year before 1985 was 1984 and the first after was 1988.

The summer and winter solstices and the spring and fall equinoxes mark the passing of the seasons. They fall on nearly the same day each year, with differences of a day or two depending on the year. In 1985 they occurred on:

Spring Equinox Wednesday, 20 March 1985.
Summer Solstice Friday, 21 June 1985.
Fall Equinox Monday, 23 September 1985.
Winter Solstice Saturday, 21 December 1985.

Temperature

The hottest day of 1985 was July 21, with a high temperature of 98°F. For reference, on that day the average high temperature is 88°F and the high temperature exceeds 94°F only one day in ten. The hottest month of 1985 was July with an average daily high temperature of 87°F.

Relative to the average, the hottest day was November 19. The high temperature that day was 82°F, compared to the average of 59°F, a difference of 23°F. In relative terms the warmest month was November, with an average high temperature of 66°F, compared to an typical value of 60°F.

The longest warm spell was from October 8 to October 27, constituting 20 consecutive days with warmer than average high temperatures. The month of October had the largest fraction of warmer than average days with 74% days with higher than average high temperatures.

Temperature

The daily low (blue) and high (red) temperature during 1985 with the area between them shaded gray and superimposed over the corresponding averages (thick lines), and with percentile bands (inner band from 25th to 75th percentile, outer band from 10th to 90th percentile). The bar at the top of the graph is red where both the daily high and low are above average, blue where they are both below average, and white otherwise.

The coldest day of 1985 was January 21, with a low temperature of -23°F. For reference, on that day the average low temperature is 29°F and the low temperature drops below 16°F only one day in ten. The coldest month of 1985 was January with an average daily low temperature of 21°F.

Relative to the average, the coldest day was January 21. The low temperature that day was -23°F, compared to the average of 29°F, a difference of 52°F. In relative terms the coldest month was January, with an average low temperature of 21°F, compared to an typical value of 30°F.

The longest cold spell was from June 19 to July 15, constituting 27 consecutive days with cooler than average low temperatures. The month of January had the largest fraction of cooler than average days with 84% days with lower than average low temperatures.

Hourly Temperature Bands

The full year of hourly temperature reports with the days of the year on the horizontal and the hours of the day on the vertical. The hourly temperature measurement is color coded into meaningful temperature bands: frigid is purple (below 15°F), freezing is blue (15°F to 32°F), cold is dark green (32°F to 50°F), cool is light green (50°F to 65°F), comfortable is yellow (65°F to 75°F), warm is light red (75°F to 85°F), hot is medium red (85°F to 100°F), sweltering is dark red (above 100°F), and missing data is pink.

Clouds

The clearest month of 1985 was September, with 60% of days being more clear than cloudy. The longest spell of clear weather was from April 17 to April 23, constituting 7 consecutive days that were clearer than they were cloudy.

Cloud Coverage

The fraction of time spent in each of the five sky cover categories over the course of 1985 on a daily basis. From top (most blue) to bottom (most gray), the categories are clear, mostly clear, partly cloudy, mostly cloudy, and overcast. Pink indicates missing data. Outside of the United States clear skies are often reported ambiguously, leading them to be lumped in with the missing data. The bar at the top of the graph is gray if the sky was cloudy or mostly cloudy for more than half the day, blue if it is clear or mostly clear for more than half the day, and blue-gray otherwise.

The cloudiest month of 1985 was November, with 80% of days being more cloudy than clear. The longest spell of cloudy weather was from October 27 to November 8, constituting 13 consecutive days that were cloudier than they were clear.

Hourly Cloud Coverage

The full year of hourly cloud coverage reports with the days of the year on the horizontal and the hours of the day on the vertical. The sky cover is color coded: from most blue to most gray, the categories are clear, mostly clear, partly cloudy, mostly cloudy, and overcast. Pink indicates missing data. Outside of the United States clear skies are often reported ambiguously, leading them to be lumped in with the missing data.

Precipitation

This station reports both the quantity of liquid precipitation and categorical observations of precipitation (e.g., moderate rain, or heavy snow). Both are subject to erroneous reports, but the former is particularly prone to false reports, especially ones indicating an excessive quantity of precipitation. Please bear this in mind when reading the extrema reported in this section.

Liquid Equivalent Quantity

The day with the largest quantity of precipitation was February 1. That day saw 1.913" of liquid (or liquid equivalent) precipitation, compared to a median value of 0.219". The month with the most precipitation was November, with 5.425", compared to a median value of 3.809".

As determined by quantitative measurements, the longest dry spell was from September 9 to September 23, constituting 15 consecutive days with no measured precipitation. The month with the largest fraction of dry days was September, with 87% of days reporting no measured precipitation at all.

The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some measured precipitation was November, with 43% of days reporting some measured precipitation.

Precipitation Quantity

The daily measured quantity of liquid (or liquid equivalent in the case of solid precipitation) precipitation over the course of 1985, with the median non-zero quantity (thick gray line) and 10th, 25th, 75th, and 90th non-zero percentiles (shaded areas). The bar at the top of the graph is green if any precipitation was measured that day and white otherwise.

Present Weather Reports

This station reports when significant weather events (including precipitation) are visually observed at or near the station. Such events do not always correspond to measured quantities of liquid equivalent precipitation, such as when the event is near by not at the station, or in the case of solid precipitation that does not melt in the collection basin.

The day in 1985 with the most precipitation observations was February 12. There were 24 hourly weather reports that day (out of a maximum of 24) in which some form of precipitation was observated at or near the station. The month with the most precipitation observations was January, with 164 hourly present weather reports involving some form of precipitation.

Precipitation Reports

The daily number of hourly observed precipitation reports during 1985, color coded according to precipitation type, and stacked in order of severity. From the bottom up, the categories are thunderstorms (orange); heavy, moderate, and light snow (dark to light blue); heavy, moderate, and light rain (dark to light green); and drizzle (lightest green). Not all categories are necessarily present in this particular graph. The faint shaded areas indicate climate normals. The bar at the top of the graph is green if any precipitation was observed that day and white otherwise.

As determined by the present weather reports, the longest dry spell was from September 7 to September 23, constituting 17 consecutive days with no observed precipitation. The month with the largest fraction of days without observed precipitation was September, with 90% of days reporting no observed precipitation at all.

The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some observed precipitation was January, with 61% of days reporting some observed precipitation.

Hourly Weather Reports

The full year of hourly present weather reports with the days of the year on the horizontal and the hours of the day on the vertical. The color-coded categories are thunderstorms (orange); heavy, moderate, and light snow (dark to light blue); heavy, moderate, and light rain (dark to light green); drizzle (lightest green); freezing rain and sleet (light and dark cyan); snow grains (lightest blue); hail (red); fog (gray); and haze (brownish gray).

Liquid Precipitation Reports

In this section we consider only those weather reports that indicate liquid precipitation. For the purposes of this analysis, we include thunderstorms even though some thunderstorms are not accompanied by liquid precipitation.

The month of 1985 with the largest number of those reports was November, with a total of 107 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was February 1, with a total of 21 reports.

Liquid Precipitation Reports

The daily number of hourly observed liquid precipitation reports (including thunderstorms) during 1985, with climate normals (faint shaded areas). The bar at the top of the graph is green if any liquid precipitation was observed that day and white otherwise.

Snow

This station reports both when snow is observed to be falling and the measured depth of the snow on the ground. Both are subject to erroneous reports, but the latter is significantly less reliable. Please bear this in mind when reading this section.

Reports

In this section we consider hourly weather reports that contain an observation of falling snow. These reports do not necessarily correspond to accumulation.

The first reported snow fall in 1985 was on December 6; the last was on February 17. The month of 1985 with the largest number of those reports was January, with a total of 78 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was February 12, with a total of 24 reports.

Snow Reports

The daily number of hourly observed snow reports during 1985, with climate normals (faint shaded areas). The bar at the top of the graph is blue if there was snow fall observed that day and white otherwise.

Depth

Snow depth on the ground is an optional and inconsistently reported part of standard weather reports. It is rarely reported more often than every six hours, it is often skipped, it is often reported erroneously, and a snow depth of zero is normally not distinguished from a missing report. These issues (particularly the last one) make it hard to collect statistics on snow depth with any confidence. To overcome this issue, we base our statistics on only those reports with present non-zero measurements of snow depth. Reports that fail to mention snow that is present, and reports that do not report snow depth because there is no snow on the ground are excluded because they cannot be distinguished from one another.

The first reported accumulation in 1985 was on January 16. The last day of the snow season with snow reported on the ground was February 19. The day with the deepest snow depth was February 13, with an average snow depth of 8.1" over the course of the day. The longest stretch of time during which there was always snow on the ground was from February 12 to February 20 (9 consecutive days).

Snow Depth

Snow depth on the ground (thick blue line) during 1985 with median value of non-zero reports from previous years (thick faint gray line), and with percentile bands (inner band from 25th to 75th percentile, outer band from 10th to 90th percentile). The bar at the top of the graph is blue if there was snow on the ground that day and white otherwise.

Humidity

Humidity is an important factor in determining how weather conditions feel to a person experiencing them. Hot and humid days feel even hotter than hot and dry days because the high level of water content in humid air discourages the evaporation of sweat from a person's skin.

When reading the graph below, keep in mind that the hottest part of the day tends to be the least humid, so the daily low (brown) traces are more relevant for understanding daytime comfort than the daily high (blue) traces, which typically occur during the night. Applying that observation, the least humid month of 1985 was March with an average daily low humidity of 41%, and the most humid month was November with an average daily low humidity of 65%.

But it is important to keep in mind that humidity does not tell the whole picture and the dew point is often a better measure of how comfortable a person will find a given set of weather conditions. Please see the next section for continued discussion of this point.

Humidity

The daily low (brown) and high (blue) relative humidity during 1985 with the area between them shaded gray and superimposed over the corresponding averages (thick lines), and with percentile bands (inner band from 25th to 75th percentile, outer band from 10th to 90th percentile).

Dew Point

Dew point is the temperature below which water vapor will condense into liquid water. It is therefore also related to the rate of evaporation of liquid water. Since the evaporation of sweat is an important cooling mechanism for the human body, the dew point is an important measurement for understanding how dry, comfortable, or humid a given set of weather conditions will feel.

Generally speaking, dew points below 50°F will feel a bit dry to some people, but comfortable to people accustomed to dry conditions; dew points from 50°F to 68°F are fairly comfortable to most people, and dew points above 68°F are increasingly uncomfortable, becoming oppressive around 77°F.

To take some examples, and basing our categorization on the daily high dew point in 1985, January had 30 dry days, 1 comfortable day, and no humid days; April had 10 dry days, 20 comfortable days, and no humid days; July had no dry days, 6 comfortable days, and 25 humid days; and October had 2 dry days, 26 comfortable days, and 3 humid days.

Dew Point

The daily low (blue) and high (red) dew point during 1985 with the area between them shaded gray and superimposed over the corresponding averages (thick lines), and with percentile bands (inner band from 25th to 75th percentile, outer band from 10th to 90th percentile).

Wind

The highest sustained wind speed was 29 mph, occurring on April 6; the highest daily mean wind speed was 19 mph (April 5); and the highest wind gust speed was 51 mph (June 2).

The windiest month was January, with an average wind speed of 9 mph. The least windy month was August, with an average wind speed of 6 mph.

Wind Speed

The daily low and high wind speed (light gray area) and the maximum daily wind gust speed (tiny blue dashes).

Visibility

Visibility is the maximum distance at which a given reference object or light can be clearly discerned. In the United States, visibilities that are greater than or equal to 10 miles are typically reported as 10 miles.

The day of 1985 with the lowest average visibility was February 12, with an average visibility of 1.4 mi. The month with the lowest average visibility was July, with an average visibility of 6.5 mi. With an average visibility of 12.5 mi, the month of April had the highest average visibility.

Visibility

The daily average visibility, depicted as gray bars encroaching down from the top of the graph.

Cloud Ceiling

The cloud ceiling is the altitude of the lowest layer of clouds that are at categorized as broken (mostly cloudy) or overcast (cloudy). If no such cloud layer exists then the ceiling is unlimited and no value is reported.

The day of 1985 with the lowest average cloud ceiling was August 9, with an average cloud ceiling of 49'. The month with the lowest average cloud ceiling was January, with an average cloud ceiling of 5014'. The month of June has the highest average cloud ceiling, with an average cloud ceiling of 15816'.

Cloud Ceiling

The daily average cloud ceiling, depicted as gray bars encroaching down from the top of the graph. Missing data or days with insufficient clouds to define a cloud ceiling are shown as white columns.