Mississippi has short winters and long, humid summers. Summer temperatures vary little from one part of the state to another. Biloxi, on the Gulf coast, averages 82°F (28°C) in July, while Oxford, in the north-central part of the state, averages 80°F (27°C). During the winter, however, because of the temperate influence of the Gulf of Mexico, the southern coast is much warmer than the north; in January, Biloxi averages 52°F (11°C) to Oxford's 41°F (5°C). The lowest temperature ever recorded in Mississippi was –19°F (–28°C) on 30 January 1966 in Corinth; the highest, 115°F (46°C), was set on 29 July 1930 at Holly Springs.

Precipitation in Mississippi increases from north to south. The north-central region averages 53 in (135 cm) of precipitation a year; the coastal region, 62 in (157 cm). Annual annual precipitation at Jackson (1971–2000) was 56 in (142 cm). Some snow falls in northern and central sections. Mississippi lies in the path of hurricanes moving northward from the Gulf of Mexico during the late summer and fall. On 17–18 August 1969, Hurricane Camille ripped into Biloxi and Gulfport and caused more than 100 deaths throughout the state. Two tornado alleys cross Mississippi from the southwest to northeast, from Vicksburg to Oxford and McComb to Tupelo.