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Kentucky Travel Guide

Kentucky — Weather

The location of Kentucky places it neatly on the border of the warm south and the cooler north. This creates mild climate conditions throughout most of the year, even in the mountainous areas. Kentucky enjoys four distinct seasons, each with its own virtues. The state has an average annual high of 87°F in summer and an average low of 23°F in winter.

Spring and fall are the most pleasant times to visit weather-wise. April and May enjoy temperatures in the upper 60’s °F to mid-70’s °F, with a refreshing burst of greenery. Late September through October has the same weather, but amazing changing colors of the leaves. Precipitation in Kentucky falls evenly throughout the year, averaging 46 inches. Most of it is rain though there is the occasional snowfall in the higher elevations.

Summers in Kentucky are warm, but not oppressively hot. The humidity levels are quite high however, which tends to make pleasant daytime temperatures in the 80’s °F feel like they are in the mid-90’s °F. Thunderstorms are common in summer, occasionally turning violent and spawning the rare tornado. Winters are not frigid, but December through February is certainly chilly. Expect daytime highs only in the low 40’s°F until March, when the mercury creeps back into the tolerable 50’s°F.

Best Time to Visit Kentucky

Spring is a superb time to visit Kentucky for many reasons. The warm temperatures of March encourage the bluegrass to grow, turning the entire state into a huge field of velvety green. Horse foals can be seen prancing around the farms and the big races like the Kentucky Derby are staged. From April through the end of May, you can expect near perfect temperatures with a few spring showers to keep the flowers growing.

Fall is the other lovely season in Kentucky. By the end of September, the climate has cooled off and the first sparks of color appear on the leaves at higher elevation. October is really the prime month for a fall visit, especially in the Appalachian foothills where the reds, yellows, and oranges of the hardwood trees create a real spectacle. Perfect daytime highs in the low 70’s°F and mid-60’s°F lend themselves to pleasantly crisp nights. There isn’t much of an off-season in Kentucky since the state sees such great weather from spring through fall, but winter is the best time to find deals on hotels and flights.

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