Climate of Louisville, Kentucky

By | October 16, 2023

Louisville, Kentucky, the largest city in the state, is known for its diverse climate with four distinct seasons. The city experiences hot and humid summers, cold winters, and a transition period during spring and fall. Louisville’s climate is influenced by its location in the Ohio Valley and its proximity to the Ohio River. In this comprehensive exploration of the climate in Louisville, we will delve into the city’s annual weather patterns, seasonal variations, and notable climatic features.

Geographic Location and Influences:

According to citiesplustowns, Louisville is situated in the north-central part of Kentucky, within the Ohio Valley. The city’s climate is significantly influenced by its geographical features, which include its proximity to the Ohio River and its location in the interior of the United States. Several key factors contribute to Louisville’s climate:

  1. Ohio River Influence: Louisville is situated along the Ohio River, and the river’s moderating influence helps to regulate temperatures in the city, providing some relief from extreme heat and cold.
  2. Ohio Valley Location: The city’s location in the Ohio Valley exposes it to weather systems and air masses that can lead to climatic diversity throughout the year.

Seasonal Overview:

Louisville experiences four distinct seasons, each with its own unique weather patterns. Here is an overview of the seasons in Louisville:

  • Spring (March – May): Spring in Louisville is a transitional season marked by warming temperatures and the emergence of new growth. Daytime highs typically range from the 50s to 70s Fahrenheit (10-26°C). Spring can bring frequent rain showers and occasional thunderstorms.
  • Summer (June – August): Summers in Louisville are hot and humid. Daytime temperatures can reach the 90s Fahrenheit (32-38°C) and sometimes higher. High humidity levels can make the heat feel more intense, and the city experiences frequent afternoon and evening thunderstorms.
  • Fall (September – November): Fall is a favored season for many in Louisville. Daytime highs generally range from the 60s to low 70s Fahrenheit (16-24°C). Nights become cooler, with temperatures in the 50s and 60s°F (10-20°C). Fall is characterized by clear, sunny days and vibrant foliage.
  • Winter (December – February): Winters in Louisville are cold and can bring occasional snowfall. Daytime highs typically range from the 30s to 40s Fahrenheit (2-7°C). Nights are much colder, often dropping below freezing, with temperatures in the 20s and 30s°F (-6 to 4°C). Snowfall is common but usually not excessive.

Temperature Trends:

Louisville’s climate is characterized by significant temperature fluctuations between the seasons. Here’s a closer look at temperature trends in the city:

  • Average Annual Temperature: Louisville has an average annual temperature of around 56°F (13°C), reflecting the wide range of temperatures experienced throughout the year.
  • Summer Temperatures: Summers in Louisville are known for their heat and humidity, with daytime highs typically reaching the 90s Fahrenheit (32-38°C). Nights are warm, with temperatures in the 60s to 70s°F (15-26°C).
  • Winter Temperatures: Winters in Louisville are cold, with daytime highs typically ranging from the 30s to 40s Fahrenheit (2-7°C). Nights are significantly colder, often dropping into the 20s and 30s°F (-6 to 4°C).
  • Spring and Fall Temperatures: Spring and fall offer milder conditions. Daytime highs generally range from the 50s to 70s Fahrenheit (10-24°C). Nights are cooler, with temperatures in the 40s and 50s°F (4-15°C).


Louisville receives a relatively even distribution of precipitation throughout the year, with no marked dry or rainy season. The city has an annual average of approximately 45 inches (1,143 mm) of precipitation. Here’s how precipitation is distributed throughout the year:

  • Spring Showers: Spring brings occasional rain showers and thunderstorms to Louisville. These can be heavy at times, contributing to the greening of the landscape.
  • Summer Thunderstorms: Louisville experiences frequent afternoon and evening thunderstorms during the summer months. These storms can bring heavy rainfall and provide relief from the heat.
  • Fall Rainfall: Fall typically sees less rainfall compared to summer. The season is marked by clear, sunny days and cooler, more comfortable weather.
  • Winter Snowfall: Louisville experiences occasional snowfall during the winter months. The city typically receives around 15 inches of snow annually, though the amounts can vary from year to year.

Climatic Features:

  • Ohio River Moderation: The Ohio River’s influence helps to moderate temperatures in Louisville, making the city’s climate less extreme than other parts of Kentucky. Summers are not as scorching, and winters are not as frigid as in some inland areas.
  • Tornado Risk: Like much of the Ohio Valley, Louisville can experience severe weather, including thunderstorms and tornadoes, especially during the spring and summer months. The city is part of the region sometimes referred to as “Tornado Alley.”
  • Seasonal Changes: The city’s distinct seasons provide a variety of activities and events, from enjoying the blooming dogwoods in the spring to celebrating the vibrant colors of fall foliage.


Louisville, Kentucky, experiences a four-season climate with distinct temperature variations throughout the year. The city’s location in the Ohio Valley and its proximity to the Ohio River contribute to a diverse climate with hot summers and cold winters. While Louisville’s climate presents seasonal challenges, such as the risk of severe weather in spring and summer, it also offers a rich variety of seasonal activities and cultural events. The city’s climate is an integral part of its identity, providing residents and visitors with a dynamic and ever-changing environment to enjoy throughout the year.

Map of Louisville, Kentucky