Asheville weather is one major factor people consider when they move here. And it should be!
Comfort is one reason, but there are other reasons that you should consider when choosing a location - so, be sure you read this entire page.
Over all, the weather here is pretty nice - not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too dry - at least not for too long!
Do you have an Asheville Weather Story? Want to read one of mine? See what happened on my Asheville Christmas 2010!
It's a December morning as I write this. From where I sit I can see the tall oaks and poplars out my window swaying in the fierce wind - yes, fierce.
The radio announcer just said it's 11 degrees out right now, but it feels like -6 degrees with the windchill factor. The high today is expected to be in the mid 20s.
I just want you to know the truth about Asheville weather. We do get extremes - especially in this day of climate change. Yes, Asheville's weather is more moderate than many places in some ways. This cold snap, which is all up and down the east coast, isn't the norm.
According to the Asheville Metro Business Research Center, a service of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, the average temperature for December is 39.4 degrees (over 56 years). In 2007 the average was 43.9. That year the mean daily maximum was 54.2 and the mean daily minimum was 33.5 degrees.
The way I look at it, we have a wonderful screened in porch where we love to have our meals whenever we can and we do that at least once every month of the year! So, it can't be that bad.
The really cold weather comes and goes, but it doesn't stay for the whole season. Plus, the cold season isn't that long. The average March temperature is 46.5. People are getting their gardens ready. November's average is 46.4. Some people here are even growing their veggies year-round in plastic-covered, unheated greenhouses.
Snow and ice comes, too. We have some on the ground right now. There's usually not much of it and it doesn't usually stay long at all. When we get it, almost everything shuts down. If you can't get to work because the plow and sand truck hasn't made it to your street, it may not be a problem, because so many things shut down.
The schools have already been closed for four days this winter! This has been unusual. But it does happen.
Annual snowfall averages 13.3 inches. That could mean 13 days of one inch or 26 days of a half inch or a couple of six-inch plus snowy days. That's about right. We don't seem to usually get a lot all at once - unless, of course, you're in the higher elevations.
You hear that on the radio all the time (by the way, we don't watch TV). "One to three inches of snow is possible today - three to ten in the higher elevations." So, beware. I talked with some people at the grocery store one day last year, which was a heavier than usual snow year, and they said they were stranded at their hilltop home for almost a week.
That reminds me - when a snowfall is predicted, the stores suddenly get very crowded! It's a good idea to be stocked up all winter, in general. Keep your freezer full and have plenty of bottled water on hand. The power could even go out.
I hope I'm not scaring you. I just want you to know the reality. If you want a warm, snowless place, you need to go somewhere else. If you want four seasons, Asheville's your place. The National Climatic Data Center says about Asheville weather, "The Asheville area has a temperate, but invigorating climate."
If you have the kind of job that requires you to be there no matter what - like medical or at the newspaper - then you'd better either live on a main road that gets cleared quickly or you need to have a reliable 4-wheel drive vehicle that can move through anything.
Also, last summer was the hottest on record - again, climate change may be the reason.
For the first time in years, we used our air conditioning. I think it was on for five weeks. That's not too bad.
The Research Center's data shows that August is typically the hottest month with an average high of 88.7 and low of 64.7 in 2007. The 56 year overall average for August is 72.4. That's not bad! But there are some scorchers.
It usually cools down nicely at night, which I love. So close the curtains during the day and be sure to leave the windows open at night.
When looking for a house, buying one with trees nearby helps - both for the shade and the cooling affect of greenery. If you want to use solar panels, though, beware of too much shade. We live about ten minutes from downtown and at a little higher elevation with lots of trees. It can be as much as ten degrees cooler than it is downtown on a hot summer day.
I haven't mentioned spring and fall - oh, they're gorgeous! They make any Asheville weather extremes well worth it!!
Hey, want to check out a great Asheville weather blog? Click here!
This is a great topic for some stories! If you really want to see what people think about the weather here, look below, and please contribute your own stories and comments!
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The Weather Corner This is a weather website by local meteorologist Richard Koeneman. Richard worked with the National Weather Service for 30 years before moving here several years ago.
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