New York has a humid continental type climate similar to many other states in the US Northeast and is influenced by the topography and by the proximity to large water bodies. There is a large variability to the air masses that affect the State from cold dry northwesterly winter outbreaks from the continent to warm humid periods during the summer when southerly or southwesterly winds originating over the Gulf of Mexico prevail.
New York City has a moderate climate, overall which makes this a great place to visit year round. The city has an annual mean temperature about 55°F (13°C) and receives, on average, 49.9 inches (1,270 mm) of precipitation, which is fairly evenly spread out throughout the year. You can expect to see about 234 days out of the year with at least some sunshine so come and enjoy a couple of the popular walking tours at Free Tours by Foot.
Spring and autumn weather is great for touring NYC but can be somewhat changeable with periods of both chilly and warm weather. The warm periods, however, are typically accompanied by low humidity and can be quite nice for any outdoor activities. Summers are warm with some hot and humid intervals as well as the risk for the occasional shower or thunderstorm. The daytime high temperatures reach or exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on about 17 days each summer.
Winters tend to be cold and sometimes damp, however, the Atlantic Ocean and the partial shielding from the colder air by the Appalachian Mountains to the west keep the city warmer in the winter than other more inland cities nearby so visiting the city during the winter can still be enjoyable. Snowfall each winter averages 25.8 inches (66 cm), but this can vary considerably from year to year. Overall, however, only about 11 days during entire winter will see any measurable snowfall. The daily mean temperature in January, the area’s coldest month, is 32.6 °F (0.3 °C); however, temperatures to 10 °F (−12 °C) or less can occur several times each winter while on the other hand mild spells to 50°F (10 °C) or more occur several days each winter month as well.
Hurricanes and tropical storms are rare in the New York area but are not unheard of but the risk of a tropical cyclone affecting the city is fairly low with the highest risk being during the late summer and early fall.
Check out what the weather will be like in New York City for your trip:
Written by Fred Pickhardt
Ocean Weather Services