Long a major rail junction and shipping point for traffic crossing the Appalachians from the Midwest into the eastern seaboard, Johnson City is most known today as the home of East Tennessee State University, a school of 12,000 students and a major medical school and teaching hospital. Other companies -- Siemens, Eastman Chemical, and American Water Heater also have operations in the area, but Kingsport and Bristol are far more noted for their industry.
Downtown is clean and attractively set against the Appalachian backdrop but is otherwise unremarkable. The city serves as a gateway to important mountain and lake recreation areas nearby. Johnson City is 110 miles east of Knoxville, and is accessible to other amenities in Virginia at Roanoke (150 miles) and northeast from there. As such it is isolated from many city services, particularly air service Cost of living is a very attractive 76.3.
Johnson City is located in the upper East Tennessee Valley against the main ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. Immediate terrain is gently rolling to the north and west and very hilly and wooded, rising to 4000 to 6000 feet to the south and east. The variable topography has considerable influence on the weather.
Mountains shelter the area from cold and some moisture but open landscape to the southwest allows moist Gulf airflow. This causes warm, humid summers, although the high elevation brings some cooling, especially in evenings. Summer thunderstorms are frequent, with the most rain occurring in July. Atlantic Coast storms can bring heavy winter precipitation. Normally only the mountains receive snow.