Average Weather at Oak Ridge Tennessee, United States
At Oak Ridge, the summers are long, hot, and muggy; the winters are short, very cold, and wet; and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 31°F to 88°F and is rarely below 17°F or above 94°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best times of year to visit Oak Ridge for warm-weather activities are from late May to late June and from early August to early October.
The hot season lasts for 3.9 months, from May 24 to September 20, with an average daily high temperature above 80°F. The hottest day of the year is July 22, with an average high of 88°F and low of 69°F.
The cold season lasts for 2.9 months, from November 29 to February 24, with an average daily high temperature below 55°F. The coldest day of the year is January 24, with an average low of 31°F and high of 48°F.
Average High and Low Temperature
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
At Oak Ridge, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year at Oak Ridge begins around July 13 and lasts for 4.1 months, ending around November 17. On September 21, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 67% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 33% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around November 17 and lasts for 7.9 months, ending around July 13. On January 3, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 55% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 46% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days at Oak Ridge varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 5.0 months, from March 23 to August 22, with a greater than 33% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 45% on July 9.
The drier season lasts 7.0 months, from August 22 to March 23. The smallest chance of a wet day is 21% on October 16.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 45% on July 9.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Oak Ridge experiences some seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year at Oak Ridge. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around December 2, with an average total accumulation of 4.4 inches.
The least rain falls around October 20, with an average total accumulation of 2.6 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
The sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent quantity of snowfall at Oak Ridge does not vary significantly over the course of the year, staying within 0.1 inches of 0.1 inches throughout.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
The length of the day at Oak Ridge varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2021, the shortest day is December 21, with 9 hours, 43 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 20, with 14 hours, 37 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 6:19 AM on June 12, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 45 minutes later at 8:04 AM on November 6. The earliest sunset is at 5:22 PM on December 5, and the latest sunset is 3 hours, 35 minutes later at 8:57 PM on June 28.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed at Oak Ridge during 2021, starting in the spring on March 14, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 7.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for 2021. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases.
Moon Rise, Set & Phases
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
Oak Ridge experiences extreme seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 4.1 months, from May 21 to September 25, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 20% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is July 25, with muggy conditions 82% of the time.
The least muggy day of the year is December 25, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.
Humidity Comfort Levels
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed at Oak Ridge experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 6.3 months, from November 2 to May 13, with average wind speeds of more than 4.3 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is February 25, with an average hourly wind speed of 5.5 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 5.7 months, from May 13 to November 2. The calmest day of the year is August 1, with an average hourly wind speed of 3.2 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction at Oak Ridge varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the west for 1.5 months, from June 23 to August 7, with a peak percentage of 37% on July 13. The wind is most often from the north for 6.0 days, from August 7 to August 13, with a peak percentage of 29% on August 8. The wind is most often from the south for 10 months, from August 13 to June 23, with a peak percentage of 37% on January 1.
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is at Oak Ridge throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best times of year to visit Oak Ridge for general outdoor tourist activities are from late May to late June and from early August to early October, with a peak score in the first week of September.
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Oak Ridge for hot-weather activities is from late June to early September, with a peak score in the second week of August.
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
The growing season at Oak Ridge typically lasts for 7.0 months (213 days), from around April 3 to around November 3, rarely starting before March 10 or after April 23, and rarely ending before October 14 or after November 21.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms at Oak Ridge should appear around March 2, only rarely appearing before February 15 or after March 17.
Growing Degree Days
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 4.5 months, from April 16 to September 1, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 5.8 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 18, with an average of 6.7 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 2.9 months, from November 10 to February 8, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 3.2 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 24, with an average of 2.3 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Oak Ridge are 36.023 deg latitude, -84.233 deg longitude, and 896 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Oak Ridge contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 397 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 934 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (2,605 feet). Within 50 miles contains large variations in elevation (5,157 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Oak Ridge is covered by artificial surfaces (61%) and trees (39%), within 10 miles by trees (68%) and artificial surfaces (17%), and within 50 miles by trees (69%) and cropland (23%).
This report illustrates the typical weather at Oak Ridge, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
Oak Ridge has a weather station that reported reliably enough during the analysis period that we have included it in our network. When available, historical temperature and dew point measurements are taken directly from this weather station. These records are obtained from NOAA's Integrated Surface Hourly data set, falling back on ICAO METAR records as required.
In the case of missing or erroneous measurements from this station, we fall back on records from nearby stations, adjusted according to typical seasonal and diurnal intra-station differences. For a given day of the year and hour of the day, the fallback station is selected to minimize the prediction error over the years for which there are measurements for both stations.
The stations on which we may fall back include but are not limited to McGhee Tyson Airport, Middlesboro-Bell County Airport, Crossville Memorial Airport, Western Carolina Regional Airport, Wayne County Airport, London-Corbin Airport, Lake Cumberland Regional Airport, and Macon County Airport.
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for airports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.