Background: Evidence is mounting regarding the clinically significant effect of temperature on blood pressure. Methods. In this cross-sectional study the authors obtained minimum and maximum temperatures and their respective previous week variances at the geographic locations of the self-reported residences of 26,018 participants from a national cohort of blacks and whites, aged 45+. Linear regression of data from 20,623 participants was used in final multivariable models to determine if these temperature measures were associated with levels of systolic or diastolic blood pressure, and whether these relations were modified by stroke-risk region, race, education, income, sex hypertensive medication status, or age. Results: After adjustment for confounders, same-day maximum temperatures 20°F lower had significant associations with 1.4 mmHg (95% CI: 1.0, 1.9) higher systolic and 0.5 mmHg (95% CI: 0.3, 0.8) higher diastolic blood pressures. Same-day minimum temperatures 20°F lower had a significant association with 0.7 mmHg (95% CI: 0.3, 1.0) higher systolic blood pressures but no significant association with diastolic blood pressure differences. Maximum and minimum previous-week temperature variabilities showed significant but weak relationships with blood pressures. Parameter estimates showed effect modification of negligible magnitude. Conclusions: This study found significant associations between outdoor temperature and blood pressure levels, which remained after adjustment for various confounders including season. This relationship showed negligible effect modification. © 2011 Kent et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.