Manhattan NY, experiences a diverse climate characterized by distinct seasons, influenced by its coastal location and urban environment. Understanding the weather patterns and seasonal changes can greatly enhance your experience whether you’re planning a visit or considering living in this iconic borough. There are many things to do in Manhattan.

Seasonal Variations


Spring in Manhattan typically begins in March and extends through May. During this season, the city emerges from winter’s chill, with temperatures gradually warming up. Average highs range from the upper 40s °F (about 9°C) early in the season to the upper 60s °F (around 20°C) by late May. Spring is a time of blooming cherry blossoms in Central Park and the arrival of outdoor dining as New Yorkers embrace the milder weather.


Summer in Manhattan spans from June to August and is characterized by warm to hot temperatures and occasional humidity. Average highs range from the upper 70s °F (about 25°C) in June to the upper 80s °F (around 30°C) in July and August. Heatwaves are not uncommon, with temperatures occasionally soaring into the 90s °F (over 30°C). Summer also brings occasional thunderstorms, which can provide relief from the heat but may be accompanied by heavy rain and lightning.


Autumn, from September to November, brings cooler temperatures and vibrant foliage to Manhattan. Average highs gradually decrease from the mid-70s °F (about 24°C) in September to the mid-50s °F (around 13°C) by November. The cityscape transforms into hues of red, orange, and yellow as trees shed their leaves. Fall is a favorite season for many New Yorkers, who enjoy outdoor activities like visiting pumpkin patches, apple picking upstate, and attending fall festivals.


Winter in Manhattan lasts from December through February, bringing cold temperatures and occasional snowfall. Average highs range from the upper 30s °F (about 3°C) in December to the mid-40s °F (around 7°C) in February. Overnight lows can dip below freezing, and snowstorms can blanket the city, transforming Central Park into a winter wonderland. Despite the cold, winter in Manhattan also brings festive holiday displays, ice skating at Rockefeller Center, and cozy gatherings in cafes and restaurants.

Weather Patterns and Influences

Coastal Influence

Manhattan’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean moderates its temperatures throughout the year. Summers are cooler compared to inland areas, thanks to sea breezes, while winters are milder due to the ocean’s thermal influence. However, this proximity can also lead to increased humidity during the summer months, contributing to sticky and uncomfortable conditions at times.

Urban Heat Island Effect

As an urban environment with dense buildings, pavement, and limited green space, Manhattan experiences the urban heat island effect. This phenomenon results in higher temperatures compared to surrounding rural areas, particularly noticeable during hot summer days and warm summer nights. The abundance of concrete and asphalt absorbs and retains heat, impacting the city’s overall climate.

Climate Resilience and Adaptation

Manhattan, like many urban centers globally, faces challenges related to climate change, including rising sea levels, increased heatwaves, and extreme weather events. The city has implemented measures to enhance resilience, such as green infrastructure initiatives, coastal protection projects, and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Manhattan’s climate is characterized by distinct seasons, influenced by its coastal location and urban environment. From the cherry blossoms of spring to the vibrant foliage of fall and the occasional snowfall of winter, each season brings its own charm and activities. Understanding the weather patterns and seasonal variations can help residents and visitors alike better prepare and enjoy everything that Manhattan has to offer throughout the year. Whether you’re strolling through Central Park in the spring, enjoying outdoor dining in the summer, admiring fall foliage, or skating at Rockefeller Center in the winter, Manhattan’s climate adds a unique dimension to the city’s dynamic atmosphere.

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