When Does It Snow in New York? Typical Timing and Average Amounts

Written by Rob Hayek
Published: October 9, 2023
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Snow is fairly common in New York in the winter months. In fact, it is part of the experience of living in New York. People will often want to go to New York for the experience of snowfall. Ultimately, there are certain times of the year when they would be more likely to see snow.

But when does it snow in New York, and what are the typical times and average amounts of snowfall throughout the year? This is a loaded question, and there are so many variables to this. Mainly, you have to remember that New York covers plenty of distance. Several areas of New York may experience slightly different temperatures. Yet, it’s mainly similar. So, when does it snow in New York? We’re here to answer the question while also providing some insights and fun facts.

5 Facts About New York Snow

  • January and February are the months with the most days of snow in the majority of the state, including New York City.
  • The largest amount of snow in one day in New York City took place on January 23, 2016, when 27.3 inches of snow fell.
  • Three winters have seen a two-month span of at least 20 inches of snow. This occurred in 1978, 1996, and 2011.
  • The average first day of snow in New York City usually happens between December 14 and December 24.
  • New York City recently broke a record for most days without snow, as it did not snow from March 10, 2022, to February 1, 2023.

When Does It Snow in New York?

You will likely see snow start to fall in November. Moreover, it is when the first instances of the cold winter begin. December tends to be the time of year when it gets stronger. Then, January and February annually have the highest average amount of snow per year. If you want to find snow in New York, you are more likely to encounter it in January and February, which are the heaviest months of snowfall.

Road signage on a snowy afternoon in upstate New York. Route 17 and route 97 near Sands Creek

Expect to see plenty of snow starting in December and onto March.

©Scott Heaney/iStock via Getty Images

How Much Snow Does the State of New York Get?

New York State gets 55.23 inches of snow per year, according to World Population Review. Amazingly, it has the seventh-highest average snowfall in the United States. Whether you are visiting New York City or traveling up north to Buffalo or Albany, expect to see heavy snow during the winter months.

How Much Snow Does New York City Get?

New York City averages 33.6 inches of snow per year, according to a 20-year report from the National Weather Service. However, last year proved to be a rare year when the snow did not come for a long time. But New York typically sees a healthy amount of snow that usually lasts 3-4 months.

There was an abnormal snow event that took place in 1888, according to the Library of Congress. Remarkably, a massive storm called the Great Blizzard of 1888 hit New York City from March 11 to March 14, 1888. It was a massive storm that struck the entire east coast. Furthermore, it caused train accidents and fatalities. New York City had a high of 12 degrees and a low of six degrees, which was the coldest it had been that late in the season. Additionally, 22 inches of snow fell in New York City for that storm alone.

Snow in New York City

New York City usually does not get the first inch of snow until around December 24.


When Does It Snow in New York?

It typically snows in New York from December until March. Significantly, the 30-year averages from 1991-2020 highlighted that February was the snowiest month of the year, with an average of 10.7 inches of snow. There have been years, such as last year, where the snow did not actually arrive until February.

But average snowfall usually begins in December. Occasionally, it starts in November. But there have been occasions where it has actually snowed in October. Curiously, the earliest known record of snow in this month occurred on October 15, 1876. There was another snowstorm that pelted the city on October 29, 2011. Amazingly, it has snowed 16 times in October since the earliest recorded date, according to the National Weather Service.

It usually does not snow in April. However, it did happen recently. New York City experienced a snow event on April 2, 2018, according to the National Weather Service. It also forced the New York Yankees to cancel their home opener in 2018, which rarely happens. Additionally, it also snowed in April of 2016.

The National Weather Service also revealed snow has fallen in May, as it did in 1977. However, that is relatively rare and unlikely to happen every year or even every other year.

What Are the Average Temperatures in New York?

When does it snow in New York, and how cold will the temperatures get? The average temperatures in New York City fluctuate by the seasons. Regardless, it is generally consistent. January will usually see an average high of 38.4 degrees, which is usually the coldest average mark of the season. Then, it will slightly rise in February to an average of 40.5 degrees. There is ironically more snow in February when it is slightly warmer than in January. Additionally, the snow continues in March despite the average high temperature usually reaching 47.4. The lows remain in the 30s for the most part until April.

The spring and summer months bring out warmer temperatures. Also, rain usually replaces snow during these months. New York City has seen significant other events, such as Hurricane Sandy. Therefore, New Yorkers still experience extreme weather even during the warmer months.

It starts to cool down in October. Then, the first traces of snow can fall in November. But December is when you are more likely to see snowdrops as the lows can level out to 30 degrees. Often, snow starts falling around the holiday season.

Animals of New York

You will find plenty of animals in New York while scouring the area. Significantly, the animal you are most likely to encounter is a deer. You also may see a coyote wandering around. Also, you will find beavers on Staten Island, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.

You also will find an eastern wild turkey in New York City. Curiously, this bird gravitates toward the forested areas that surround the city. Eastern gray squirrels will also grace the numerous trees around the city. Likewise, you will see many mallards along the water.

Red foxes also inhabit the area and will generally scavenge the forested areas of the Bronx to scour for food. Also, raccoons are prevalent throughout the area and are among the most widespread in the state. You will rarely see them in New York City, but you may see skunks in the boroughs.

All these animals have lived in the New York area for centuries. Furthermore, they have adapted to and seen the coldest temperatures the area has recorded.

Most Vicious Animals

Red foxes are among the numerous animals you will see in and around New York City.

©iStock.com/Hawk Buckman

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Where Is New York?

New York is in the upper regions of the eastern United States. Curiously, the city of New York shares the same name as its state. New York City is close to the New York-New Jersey border. Additionally, there are five boroughs that compose New York City: Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.

What Is the Average Snowfall in New York?

New York averages 25 inches of snow every winter. Furthermore, the range of snowfall will usually fall between 22 and 27 inches.

New York City Average Temperatures and Snowfall (1991-2020)

MonthAverage HighAverage LowAverage Inches of Snow

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Chen Yuran/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Rob Hayek is a writer at A-Z Animals where his primary focus is on animals, sports, places, and events. Rob has been writing and researching about animals, sports, places, and events for over 10 years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Cal State University Fullerton, which he earned in 2009. A resident of California, Rob enjoys surfing and also owns a sports group which allows people from the local community to come together to play sports recreationally.

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