New Hampshire — Weather
Like much of New England, New Hampshire suffers from the mercurial temperament of the regional climate. The precipitation falls evenly throughout the year, without much let up except for a period in the fall when the skies break blue in celebration of the trees turning color. In winter this means loads of snow, especially in the mountains, while summer brings frequent rain that keeps the conditions on the humid side.
Summers aren’t bad here, though. Daytime highs rarely get much hotter than the low 80s (°F) between June and August, but the mountains are naturally much cooler than the lowlands. In general, the southeastern region around Portsmouth and Manchester is wetter and warmer than the North Country, which is drier and colder.
Winter is a mixed bag in New Hampshire. January brings cold daytime highs that are only 32°F on the coast and around 0°F in the interior mountains. This is a very cold, windy, and snowy season. Even if you love a white winter environment, New Hampshire’s version may be a tad harsh for you. When strong north-eastern winter storms blow through they can dump up to four feet of snow or create ice storms that drop trees and power lines like glass.
Best Time to Visit New Hampshire
There’s little argument that fall is the season when New Hampshire really shines. It is well-known as one of America’s premier destinations for impressive fall foliage, with several colors that blanket the thick hardwood forests. The southwest region is particularly pretty thanks to its mix of rolling farmland and forested hills. This is a very busy time of year, so don’t expect to have all this beauty to yourself. Book your rooms and rental cars well in advance to avoid disappointment.
If you want to visit New Hampshire and save money on your lodging you’ll need to come during the winter shoulder seasons or spring. These are reliably miserable times of year in terms of the weather, so few visitors bother coming. But most inns are still open and welcome any business. If you like to hunker down inside with a warm fire and a long book, this could be an ideal season for you.