Climate and monthly weather forecast
New York, USA

Flag of New York, USA
Flag of New York, USA

The climate of New York

New York State experiences a humid continental type of climate as per Köppen climate classification with warm and humid summers and cold and wet winters.
The state has an international border with Canada's Quebec and Ontario on the north and northwest, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to the south, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont to the east and a maritime border along the Atlantic Ocean with Rhode Island.
Upstate New York comprises ranges of the Appalachian Mountains and the Adirondack Mountains in the northeastern part of the state. Downstate consists of the Greater New York Metropolitan Area, including New York City, parts of Hudson Valley, and Long Island. Western New York consists of the Great Lakes Region, while the central region hosts the Finger Lakes.

Two types of air masses significantly affect New York weather: a warm and humid one from the southwest and a cold and dry one from the northwest. The majority of the terrain consists of mountains, forests, meadows, farms, lakes, and rivers. Upstate has warm summers and long and cold winters with a massive amount of snow. Downstate has warm and humid summers and cold, wet winters that are relatively mild compared to upstate due to its lower elevation, lower latitude, and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. New York City has a humid subtropical climate with exacerbation of the urban heat island effect due to large-scale urbanization that sees higher temperatures by 5°F (-15°C) to 7°F (-13.9°C) over the surrounding areas.

Summer day temperatures usually range between 70°F (21.1°C) to 85°F (29.4°C) in most of the state. Winter temperatures drop below freezing in the cold north, while they are mild and a few degrees above freezing along the southern part close to the Atlantic coast. Temperature differences between the warm coastal areas over northern inland regions are often up to 36°F (2.2°C). Cold-air damming leads to extended periods of cloudy skies and rain east of the Appalachians; western New York is more overcast compared to south and east due to proximity to the Great Lakes Region.

Annual precipitation averages to 46" (1168mm) across the state with the highest occurrence of rainfall and snowfall in the Great Lakes region and the lowest in the southwestern parts of the state. Lake-effect snow to the tune of 150 to 200" (5080mm) falls downwind of the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario regions. Thunderstorms usually invade the state from the Canadian side, while tropical cyclones are typical from the southwest during summer and fall.

The best time to visit New York

The best time to visit New York is during spring and autumn, particularly from April to May and mid-September to October.
Mid-spring is relatively drier compared to the early part of the spring with a low likelihood of snowfall and storms, and warmer temperatures. Summers are hot and humid along the coast as the temperatures soar to 85°F (29.4°C) during the day. Mid fall has relatively warmer temperatures compared to the summer heat with a less chance of cyclones. Around October, the spectacular colors of the fall foliage make for a pleasant trip to New York.

The worst time to visit New York

Winter is the worst time to visit New York as the state experiences cold and wet weather.
Upstate New York and highlands experience intense cold with vast amounts of snowfall often up to 200" (5080mm). The coastal areas nearby the Atlantic Ocean are comparatively warmer to the northern parts of the state, particularly the mountain ranges and the Great Lakes region. However, temperatures are near freezing during the winter nights, while the days see low temperatures, less sunshine, and cloudy conditions. Although a majority of towns and cities employ regular snow removal measures, the roads are slippery due to black ice.

Weather hazards

New York is prone to thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes in summer and early fall, and snowstorms during the winter.
An average of ten tornadoes engulf New York every year, and one in five years falls in the strong or violent (EF2-EF5) category. Summer and early fall see thunderstorm movement from the Canadian and the Great Lakes area; tropical cyclones are also active and move from the south and southwest directions.
Snowstorms typical of the North-East part of the country severely hamper the conditions, sometimes for many days on end.

Weather in January

January is the coldest month of the year in New York with the regions near Adirondacks in the frigid 3°F (-16.1°C) to 29°F (-1.7°C) average range - a few days drop even below 0°F (-17.8°C). The western and central parts of the state average 13°F (-10.6°C) to 30°F (-1.1°C) with the regions near Hudson Valley and Catskills mountains in the average range of 12°F (-11.1°C) to 31°F (-0.6°C). Weather in January »

Weather in February

February is a cold winter month in New York with the average low temperatures in the cold 5°F (-15°C) to 26°F (-3.3°C) zone and the average high temperatures in the 28°F (-2.2°C) to 42°F (5.6°C) range across different regions of the state. Old Forge and Tupper Lake in the northern Adirondacks register some of the coldest temperatures, while Brooklyn and Central Park record some of the highest temperatures in New York. Weather in February »

Weather in March

March is a cold and wet month that starts the spring season in New York. Downstate registers an average rainfall to the tune of 4" (102mm) with Long Island a little more at 5" (127mm). In the north, Massena in the Adirondacks records the least 2.1" (53mm), while the state records an average of 3" (76mm). Average high temperatures are in the mild 37°F (2.8°C) to 50°F (10°C) range, while the average lows are below freezing in the 14°F (-10°C) to 26°F (-3.3°C) range. Weather in March »

Weather in April

April is a wonderful month in New York, especially in the upstate rural parts of the state, with flowers blossoming in the rugged terrain as the forests and hills come alive after the departure of the chilly winter. It rains in New York throughout the year in the 3" (76mm) to 4" (102mm) range, and April is no exception. Weather in April »

Weather in May

May is one of the best times to visit New York with brilliant sunshine lasting up to 8 hours a day. Sunny days abound with pleasant temperatures throughout the state: average highs are 65°F (18.3°C) to 70°F (21.1°C), while average lows are between 39°F (3.9°C) and 54°F (12.2°C). Late spring is a fantastic time to be in the Finger Lakes region in Central New York, which is a popular getaway with warm temperatures in the range of 45°F (7.2°C) to 70°F (21.1°C) in May. Although precipitation is typical, it is mostly in the form of light showers that do not extend for long periods. Weather in May »

Weather in June

June is summer in New York with average temperatures in the sunny 75°F (23.9°C) to 80°F (26.7°C) range and average lows of 47°F (8.3°C) to 64°F (17.8°C). The state averages approximately 20 sunny days during the month with 9 hours of daily sunshine. Weather in June »

Weather in July

July is the hottest month of the year in New York with average high temperatures of 75°F (23.9°C) to 85°F (29.4°C). New York City experiences many days that cross 95°F (35°C), while a few even touch the psychological barrier of 100°F (37.8°C). Weather in July »

Weather in August

August is a hot summer month, as many parts of the state register a few days above 90°F (32.2°C). However, the average high temperatures are in the 75°F (23.9°C) to 80°F (26.7°C) range due to the sticky heat and partly cloudy skies. Sunny days are also plenty as the sunshine averages for 9 hours a day. Weather in August »

Weather in September

September transitions to the beautiful autumn season that sees the average high temperatures of 68°F (20°C) to 75°F (23.9°C) range. Nights are relatively cooler: in the Hudson Valley, Saratoga and Albany have average low temperatures of 50°F (10°C), while the central part of the state sees Elmira and Ithaca average 48°F (8.9°C). Summer thunderstorms occasionally occur in early fall with bouts of rain and wind. Weather in September »

Weather in October

October displays spectacular fall foliage in New York; it is particularly breathtaking in upstate New York, which has a diverse landscape of lakes, rivers, streams, meadows, and mountains. It is one of the best times to visit New York with wonderful weather and witness nature in its full glory. Average high temperatures are in the range of 55°F (12.8°C) to 65°F (18.3°C), while average low temperatures register 36°F (2.2°C) to 50°F (10°C) across the state. Weather in October »

Weather in November

November is the last month of the autumn in New York that sees mild to cold temperatures in the state. While the days average mild 45°F (7.2°C) to 55°F (12.8°C), the nights are chillier in the 27°F (-2.8°C) to 40°F (4.4°C) average range. November sees snowfall in many places in the state as central and western parts record 5" (127mm) to 10" (254mm), while Lake Placid and Old Forge near Adirondacks register 10" (254mm) to 18" (457mm); even relatively warm places like New York City witness a few flakes of snow. Rain is also persistent in most of the state with an average of 4" (102mm) to 5" (127mm). Weather in November »

Weather in December

December is a cold winter month with the average high temperatures in the 35°F (1.7°C) to 45°F (7.2°C) range and the average low temperatures in the freezing 15°F (-9.4°C) to 25°F (-3.9°C) range across the state. Snowfall is severe in the northwest lake regions and the northeast mountains with the average often beyond 50" (1270mm). Weather in December »
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