Austin has a humid, subtropical climate but with long, hot summers and short, mild winters. Austin is located in the middle of a unique transitional climate zone that lies between the dry deserts of the southwest and the lush, green, humid regions in the southeast. So, in fact, the climate is really a mix of both.
Newcomers to Austin will be pleased to learn that the weather is fairly pleasant throughout the year, and activities are not restricted by seasonal changes in the climate. Austin averages 35.5 inches (902mm) of annual rainfall, which is distributed fairly evenly across the year, so there is no real distinct rainy season as such. Likewise, sunshine is common across all seasons.
That said, the fact that Austin lies in the heart of Central Texas does mean that new residents will need to prepare themselves for long, hot summers between May and September. Summer temperatures commonly hover around 90–100°F (32–37°C). Luckily, most venues in Austin are equipped with air-conditioning and the majority of properties come with a pool, which certainly makes life easier for new arrivals.
Winters in Central Texas are mild and short to basically non-existent. Temperatures are usually mild to warm, even in the winter. January is the coolest month, with an average temperature of 61°F (16°C). Although relatively uncommon, Austin does experience short-lived bursts of cold weather, which are known as ‘Blue Northers’. Even though snowfall is rare, hard freezes do happen every few years. When these lower temperatures mix with precipitation, ice storms occur. Austin is generally unprepared for these types of weather conditions, and the city experiences traffic issues as a result.
While spring and autumn are probably the most pleasant seasons in Austin, another severe weather condition to be aware of is tornados, which occur most commonly during the spring months. Austin’s location within the extreme southern periphery of Tornado Alley makes the city somewhat prone to tornado damage and the associated flooding from supercell thunderstorms.