The hallmarks of New York’s weather are steaming hot, humid summers and frigid, snowy winters. Officially the climate is classified as sub-tropical with offshore winds mitigating the Atlantic Ocean’s effect and the Appalachian Mountains partially shielding the city, keeping it warmer than other inland cities of the same latitude.

January is the coldest month in New York, with temperatures averaging 32°F with occasional lows of 10°F. Spring and fall are variable, usually mild with random cold or hot spikes. Summer is an unfriendly season in the city, exacerbated by the urban heat island phenomenon, and extremely humid.

July daytime averages sit around 78°F, with summer temperatures soaring over 100°F an average of 17 days a year. Almost every building is air-conditioned, with the contrast between humidity and cool causing some visitors to experience flu-like symptoms. Rain is found evenly throughout the four seasons, with a total of 50 inches annually, with hurricanes and tropical storms occasionally hitting the city and outer areas (Remember Sandy?). In the last few years, snowy winters have become more common.

Best Time to Visit New York

New York is a year-round destination because no matter the weather, there’s so much going on. For culture vultures, the theater seasons are mainly in spring and fall, but in summer many New York institutions such as the Lincoln Center stage equally great outdoor shows and events. It’s easier to get tickets to popular performances in the winter months and gourmets will find July and August easier for reservations, but there’s so much choice it’s not a dealbreaker. The festive season of December through New Years is a non-stop party, with soaring accommodation prices and crowded streets, but bargains can be found later in January.