Information & Facts
Memphis has a mid-latitude, moist continental climate, which
means it has four distinct seasons with cold winters and hot
summers. Spring and autumn can be varied and unpredictable and
severe weather, like thunderstorms and strong winds, are possible
during these transitory seasons. Summers are very humid thanks to
moisture encroaching from the Gulf of Mexico, even though the
temperature rarely reaches great heights. This makes it feel hotter
than it is. Winters, by contrast, can be very cold with
temperatures below freezing occurring fairly often. Memphis
averages 5.7 inches of snow a year. There is plenty of rain to keep
the region green, most falling in thunderstorms, but this does not
mean there are not plenty of sunny days. Memphis has sun for 64% of
its days, which it proudly claims adds up to more sunny days
annually than are experienced in Miami.
As most residents own a car, public transport is not very
reliable and the most efficient way to cover the sprawling city is
by car, although traffic congestion can make it slow, even more so
during rush hours. The city is simple to navigate and parking is
generally easy to find. To hire a car drivers must be 21 years old,
but most agencies have higher rates for under-25s; some require an
International Driving Permit as well as a valid driver's license.
Public transport is available, but consists of slow and infrequent
buses, as well as the more useful Main Street Trolley that covers
downtown in a circular route. Taxis are also available and must be
booked by phone.
English is the most common language but Spanish is often
spoken in south-western states.
The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into
100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are
widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely
accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid
hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.