March in New York marks a period of transition, where the remains of cold winter linger while hints of spring bloom. Although snow is less frequent, the city may still witness occasional flurries, adding to the season’s charm. But what exactly can one expect from New York weather in the first week of March? Is the average snowfall still significant, or does the snow give way to spring showers?
- Snow can happen in March, particularly during late winter and early spring, but it’s less frequent and lighter compared to the winter months.
- March is a transitional month with varied average wind speeds, occasional snow storms, snowfall, and biting cold weather reflecting New York’s diverse climate.
- Preparing for daylight-saving time in March and the mixed weather conditions with varying average humidity is wise.
Understanding New York’s Climate
While snowstorm in March is not uncommon, it is not as severe as the snowfall experienced in the winter months. Understanding New York’s climate and historical snowfall patterns in March can help you prepare for your visit to the city.
According to current weather data, snow can still occur in New York City during March, but the frequency and amount are limited.
On average, the city sees about two days of snow in March, with one day receiving at least one inch of snow. The risk of snow is highest at the beginning of the month and drops significantly by the end of March.
General Climate Characteristics
New York has a humid subtropical climate, which means that it experiences four distinct seasons:
The state is in the northeastern United States and part of the continental climate zone. This means New York experiences hot summers and cold winters, with moderate temperatures during spring and fall.
The winter season in New York typically lasts most days from December to February. Keep in mind that January is the coldest month.
During this time, temperatures can drop to below freezing, and the state experiences heavy snowfall. However, snowfall in March is not uncommon, with an average of 3.9 inches of snowfall throughout the month.
proximity to the Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean moderates New York’s climate, resulting in high humidity and temperate conditions. Annually, the state receives an average of 42 inches of rain and 40 inches of snowfall.
Thus, the ocean absorbs heat in the summer and releases it during winter, buffering the extremes of seasonal temperature variations.
northeastern side location
New York’s climate is also influenced by its location in the eastern United States. In this case, the state experiences more extreme weather events. Residents can encounter the following:
However, these events are relatively rare in New York. These are more common in the southern and coastal regions of the eastern United States.
March Weather in New York
March is a tricky month for weather in New York. While it is considered the start of spring, average wind speed can still be quite cold, and snow is not out of the question.
- Average High Temperature: around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius)
- Average Low Temperature: can drop to around 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 degree Celsius)
When it comes to snow, the risk is highest near the beginning of the month and drops significantly by the month’s end.
According to Free Tours by Foot, the city may still experience snowfall in March, typically limited to an average of about two days, including one day with at least one inch (2.5 centimeters) of snow. Meanwhile, snowfalls of three inches (7.6 centimeters) or more occur about once every other year.
Regarding rainy days, New York often experiences a fairly wet March. The average rainfall for the month is around 12.7 millimeters. However, there are also some days of sunshine, with an average of around 5 hours of sunshine per day.
Historical Snowfall in March
As mentioned earlier, March is a month of transition between winter and spring in New York. The city experiences a mix of weather conditions with average wind speed that ranges from cold and snowy to mild and sunny.
According to data collected from 1991 to 2020, 3.9 inches of snow fell in March in New York City. However, this number can vary greatly from year to year.
March 2023: New York City experienced one of its least snowy winters on record, with only a few inches of snowfall throughout the entire season.
Blizzard of 1888: One of the most notable snowstorms to hit New York in March was the Blizzard of 1888. This storm dumped a total of 21 inches of snow on the city, causing widespread damage and disruption to daily life. People remember the storm as one of the worst blizzards in the city’s history.
Snowfall in Different Cities of New York State
Snowfall in March can vary greatly depending on the location. Here’s a look at the average snowfall for some cities in New York State:
New York City
The largest city in the United States, New York City receives an average of 3.9 inches of snow in March. However, it is not uncommon for the city to go through a snowless March, as it did in 2022.
Albany, the capital city of New York State receives an average of 8.2 inches of snow in March. However, it is not uncommon for the snowfall to vary greatly from year to year, with some years receiving only a trace of snow while others receive over 20 inches.
Located in the Adirondack Mountains, Old Forge is one of the snowiest places in New York State. In March, it receives an average of 22.8 inches of snow. Visitors to Old Forge can enjoy skiing, snowmobiling, and other winter activities.
Buffalo is known for its heavy snowfall, and March is no exception. The city receives an average of 12.8 inches of snow in March. However, like Albany, the snowfall can vary greatly from year to year.
Comparison with Winter Months
March is considered the last month of winter in New York. The city usually receives an average of 5.6 inches of snow during March, which is less than half of the average snowfall in January and February.
Winter Snowfall Trends in New York
- The first snowfall in New York City usually happens between December 14th and 17th, with an average of 4.8 inches.
- January is the snowiest month, with an average of 8.3 inches of snow. February is the second snowiest month, with an average of 7.1 inches of snowfall.
- Compared to the winter months, March is relatively mild in terms of snowfall.
KinVibes Pro-Tip: Always be prepared for snow and ice on the roads and sidewalks during this month. It is recommended to wear warm clothing and footwear with good traction to prevent slips and falls.
Impact of Snow on Daily Life
Snow in March can significantly influence various aspects of daily life in New York City, creating a unique set of challenges and experiences for its residents and visitors. Here’s an expanded overview:
Snowfall in March can create hazardous conditions on sidewalks and roads, making it difficult for pedestrians and drivers to navigate the city.
It is important to be prepared for snow by wearing appropriate footwear and clothing and taking extra care when walking or driving.
Despite the challenges of snow, there are still plenty of things to do in New York City during the winter months. Many museums and indoor attractions are open year-round, providing a warm and dry escape from the cold and snow.
Some popular options include:
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- American Museum of Natural History
- Museum of Modern Art
Outdoor Winter Activities
In addition to museums, there are plenty of outdoor winter activities to enjoy in the snow. Central Park offers opportunities for ice skating, sledding, and snowshoeing.
Bryant Park also has an ice skating rink and hosts a winter village with vendors selling food, drinks, and gifts.
Here’s a sample three-day itinerary for visiting New York during a March snowfall. This itinerary balances indoor and outdoor activities, keeping in mind the chilly weather and potential snowfall.
|Day||Time of Day||Activity||Places to Visit|
|1||Morning||Breakfast at a hotel café on Fifth Avenue, enjoying views of the snow under the morning sun.||Central Park|
|Afternoon||Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located along Fifth Avenue.||Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Evening||Dinner in a cozy bar in Times Square, followed by a Broadway show.||Times Square, Broadway|
|2||Morning||Explore the snow-dusted streets of Lower Manhattan, including Wall Street and the 9/11 Memorial.||Lower Manhattan, Wall Street, 9/11 Memorial|
|Afternoon||Ferry to Statue of Liberty, with stunning views of Brooklyn and NYC under a snowy cloud cover.||Statue of Liberty, Battery Park|
|Evening||Dinner in a vibrant Chinatown or Little Italy restaurant.||Chinatown, Little Italy, Brooklyn Bridge|
|3||Morning||Breakfast in a Greenwich Village café, soaking in the rare March sun.||Greenwich Village, The High Line|
|Afternoon||Lunch and shopping at Chelsea Market. Later, visit the Museum of Modern Art or the American Museum of Natural History.||Chelsea Market, Museum of Modern Art, American Museum of Natural History|
|Evening||Sunset dinner at a rooftop restaurant with panoramic views of NYC.||Rooftop restaurant in NYC, Jazz bar in the Village|
Packing for March in New York
When packing for a trip to New York City in March, it’s important to be prepared for the unpredictable weather. While the temperature can range from the mid-40s to the low 60s, it can also snow or rain unexpectedly during the day and night.
Here are some essential items to consider packing:
- Waterproof jacket: It’s always a good idea to bring a waterproof jacket to protect yourself from the rain or snow. Look for a lightweight jacket that can be easily layered over a sweater or sweatshirt.
- Sweaters: March can still be chilly in New York, so pack a few warm sweaters to layer under your jacket. Opt for wool or cashmere for added warmth.
- Gloves and scarf: Don’t forget to bring gloves and a scarf to keep your hands and neck warm. Look for gloves that are touchscreen compatible so you can use your phone without having to take them off.
- Umbrella: While a waterproof jacket will keep you dry, it’s always a good idea to bring an umbrella just in case.
KinVibes Pro-Tip: Besides these items, it’s important to bring comfortable shoes suitable for walking around the city. Sneakers or waterproof boots are a good option, especially if it’s snowing or raining.
Plus, don’t forget to pack a few outfits that can be easily layered, as the temperature can change throughout the day!
FINAL THOUGHTS – ENJOY NEW YORK WITH A BIT OF A MARCH SNOWFALL
As we’ve learned, while New York City does receive an average of snow in March, snowfall is not guaranteed annually. For snow enthusiasts, the best time to visit is between December and February, which are the peak months for snowfall. For those who prefer milder weather, visiting from March to May is ideal.
Ultimately, snow is still possible in March, but the weather generally warms up as spring progresses. Regardless of the season, New York City offers diverse experiences and attractions that can be enjoyed in any weather condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the weather like in New York in March?
York weather is still chilly, with average humidity ranging from 45°F to 50°F (7°C to 10°C) and average low temperatures ranging from 32°F to 38°F (0°C to 3°C) . It is also a relatively wet month, with an average of 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) of precipitation.
What are some things to do in New York in March?
New Yorkers can enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, such as visiting museums and galleries, walking through Central Park, attending a Broadway show, or exploring the city’s many neighborhoods. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which takes place on March 17th, is also a popular event.
What is the coldest month in New York?
January is typically the coldest month in New York, with average high temperatures ranging from 35°F to 39°F (2°C to 4°C) and average low temperatures ranging from 23°F to 28°F (-5°C to -2°C).