The weather in New York is quite predictable with fairly extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the year. The weather is because of this understandably one of the main factors weighing into the decision of when to take a trip to NYC. In this article, we summarize the best times to visit NYC to make sure you experience not only the best of the city but also don’t pay extortionate flight prices during the holiday seasons.
Summer in New York is very warm and humid – the countless air conditioning units that release hot air back onto the streets surely don’t help. Humidity is highest mid-summer (July) and often the air seems to stand still in the canyons between the skyscrapers. The beginning and end of the summer season, however, are very pleasant.
Winter in New York is often extreme: lots of snow and freezing cold wind are generally the norm. These conditions also turn New York into a traffic nightmare. The only consolation is that the cold is a little dryer and therefore does not feel quite as cold – a rainy winter day in London can often feel much more miserable.
In our opinion, the best time to visit New York City is April to June and then again from August to October. Temperatures are very pleasant during these times and you can enjoy activities outdoors without having to wear or carry around a jacket. This is especially a good time for families to take a trip to NYC because the temperatures are moderate in comparison to the mid-summer or mid-winter. New York is not at risk for tornadoes or hurricanes, most of these affect the southeastern side of the US, where hurricane season runs from the beginning of June to the end of November. However, hurricane Sandy did show that there can always be exceptions.
Check out the current weather conditions in New York below. The link also provides you with the option of a 10 day forecast. If you want to take a look at the skyline and check the weather for yourself, click here for live views of the NYC skyline from the East River.
|Average Temperature – Day||Average Temperature – Night||Hours of Sun||Rain|
# of days
|January||2 °C||-6 °C||5||160||11|
|February||3 °C||-5 °C||5||155||10|
|March||6 °C||-1 °C||6||180||13|
|April||12 °C||5 °C||7||170||12|
|May||18 °C||11 °C||8||160||11|
|June||24 °C||18 °C||10||150||10|
|July||30 °C||20 °C||10||150||10|
|August||28 °C||20 °C||11||130||9|
|September||25 °C||17 °C||9||100||8|
|October||18 °C||10 °C||7||80||7|
|November||10 °C||3 °C||6||100||8|
|December||4 °C||-3 °C||6||130||9|
Below you will find our recommendations on what clothing to bring and what activities are best for the time you are visiting. Even if you are flying to NYC during one of the off-seasons, you will find there is always plenty to explore and many attractions to see. New York City is called the city that never sleeps for a reason, there is always something to do, no matter the time of day or year.
January is the coldest month. Temperatures hover around or below freezing for pretty much the entire month. The only plus is that the cold usually means it is dry – which in our opinion is far more tolerable than a rainy day in London. Given that most days have 5 hours of sun, even January can be pleasant. Snow during this time of year is very common, and even if it doesn’t snow during the time you are there, you will most likely see piles of snow everywhere from the last snow clearing operation. Make sure to take some solid shoes however, much of this snow turns to slush and when it mixes with the dirt on the city streets, becomes black sludge which ruins everything it touches.
February is almost as cold as January with highs of around 3°C and lows at night of around -5°C. You have a good chance of seeing New York City clad in white this month as well, but should be able to enjoy at least a few hours of sunshine every day.Don’t forget to bring some warm clothes, however, especially if you plan on exploring the city on foot for a few hours each day. We definitely recommend warming up with a nice cup of coffee at the many corner cafés you will find as well.
March is the first month that gives you a little hint of spring in New York City. Temperatures are rarely below freezing and the highs average around 7°C. The higher temperatures also mean that instead of snow you will get a little more rain. March is actually the month with the greatest amount of rainfall so be sure to bring a rain jacket.
In April, temperatures are definitely on the rise, highs during the day are now in the double digits (12°C), and temperatures rarely dip below the freezing point. From mid-April to the end of the month trees and flowers begin to come back to life and turn New York City’s parks back into green patches. This is a particularly good time to visit New York City if you want to avoid the masses.
The month of May is an especially nice time to visit New York City. Everything is blooming and blossoming and plenty of sunshine means that everyone is in a good mood. There is a reason why May is so popular with tourists: temperatures during the day are around 20°C and the sun shines for about 8 hours a day. Nighttime temps are in the double digits for the first time (11°C).
June is a very attractive time to visit New York City. Temperatures are warm but not hot and you get to enjoy 10 hours of sun a day. The parks are filled with green trees and colorful blossoming flowers and beckon you to come and relax on their lawns. The nights are warm enough so that you can dine and drink outside. Temperatures average between 24°C during the day and 18°C at night. This is a really popular time to visit NYC due to the mild but comfortable temperatures outside.
July is one of the warmest months in the Big Apple. You have about 10 hours of sun a day, and the humidity is climbing along the temperatures. The heat and humidity often get trapped in the streets meaning it is not always comfortable between the skyscrapers. It does not bother many tourists however as July is also one of the busiest months. Average temperatures during the day are around 30°C and 20°C at night.
July and August are the hottest months in New York City. Both the sun and the humidity will have you sweating. During the day, temperatures average around 30°C – At night things cool off a little, down to a pleasant 20°C. You can enjoy 11 hours of sun a day during this time of the year meaning that you can sit outside late into the evening.
September is one of the most popular months for tourists in New York City as the weather is simply ideal for sightseeing. It’s still warm (average temps during the day are 25°C), but not as hot as the rest of summer. Temperatures at night average around 17°C and are also quite pleasant. Since you get about 9 hours of sun each day, this is the perfect time of year to take a boat cruise, rent a bike, or have dinner at a rooftop bar.
October is a great month to travel to New York City. Although the temperatures are slowly sinking, New York City offers lots of activities, great concerts, and exciting events. Expect temperatures to be around 18°C during the day and 10°C at night. The fall in NYC is bathed in golden colors making the parks even more worth a visit. The sun in September only shines for about 7 hours a day and if you are visiting at the end of the month you might want to pack some warmer items for the afternoons and evenings.
The pre-Christmas season is right around the corner, and it can get pretty cold in New York City – snow is not unusual. November is still a great month to visit New York City – you can count on 6 hours of sun a day with average temperatures around 10°C during the day. Things get decidedly colder at night. Just 3°C above freezing.
The Christmas season and thus December is a wonderful and romantic time in New York City. Snow covers the city and brings a soothing calm.The thermometer hovers around 10°C during the day and right around freezing at night. But don’t worry – you still have several hours of sun a day! The Christmas markets are also a must-see during this time, many of them are truly spectacular and give you a great feeling of Christmas in the weeks leading up to the holidays.
The best events, shows, and special tours are detailed on our Events pages!