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Chasing Autumn’s Splendor: November Weather in New York

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Let’s Discuss November Weather in Upstate New York and in the Big Apple Itself!

As autumn leaves paint New York State with vibrant hues of red and orange, November Weather in New York beckons to us all with promises of cooler temperatures, cozy sweaters, and pumpkin-spiced everything. Now, what does that mean for you? Whether you’re planning on visiting NYC or Upstate New York you can enjoy watching the state while it slowly transforms into winter.

So, what does the weather have in store for New York State during this transitional month? Let’s embark on a journey to explore the weather patterns that characterize New York City and Upstate New York in November. Together we’ll discover the best activities to make the most of this beautiful and brisk month as the last vestiges of autumn foliage fall to the ground. Enjoy watching the serene and magical landscape emerge. So, grab a cup of your favorite fall beverage and join us on this meteorological journey through the Empire State’s late autumn climate.

Understanding the Climate

Do you struggle with figuring out how to pack for vacations? Especially when you don’t know anything about the weather? Same. So let’s figure out what you need to know so that you can pack wisely for your November New York vacation!

Before we dive into the specifics of November weather in New York, it’s essential to grasp the overarching climate of the region. New York enjoys a temperate continental climate which is characterized by four distinct seasons. While this climate pattern ensures a diverse and exciting weather experience throughout the year, it also means that November is a month of transition, bridging the gap between the crisp fall days of October and the winter chill of December.

Average Temperatures

As you can imagine one of the most notable changes in November in NYC is the steady decline in temperatures. As the month progresses, the average daily highs range from the mid-50s °F (around 12°C) early in the month to the low 50s °F (approximately 11°C) toward the end. Nighttime temperatures can be significantly colder, with lows ranging from the upper 30s °F (around 3°C) early in November to the mid-30s °F (about 1°C) by the end of the month.

If you’re spending your November in Upstate New York then be prepared for even more cold air than in the city. Early in the month, you can expect daytime highs to hover around the upper 40s to low 50s °F (around 9-12°C). Then, as the days progress, these temperatures gradually drop, with highs in the mid to upper 30s °F (approximately 2-5°C) by the end of the month. Nights are considerably colder, with lows ranging from the upper 20s to low 30s °F (about -2 to 0°C).

Keep in mind that NYC is close to the water, and Upstate has more mountains and lakes so that does make the rest of New York a little bit colder than the island of Manhattan.


If you’re staying in the City then get ready to experience some moderate precipitation. Rain is definitely the most prominent offender but you may run into some snowfall. This is especially true as you get closer to December. On average, New York City receives around 3.7 inches (94mm) of precipitation during November, with rainfall accounting for the majority of this. Snowfall is less common, with an average of about 1 inch (2.5cm) for the month, but it can make a charming appearance, turning the city into a winter wonderland on occasion. Plus, it typically melts pretty quickly so it’s just a taste of the colder winter that is to come.

November in Upstate New York is about the same when it comes to the rainfall during this transitional month. However, snowfall is not uncommon and averages from 3 to 6 inches (7.6-15.2cm) in various parts of Upstate New York. Especially in the mountain regions like the Adirondacks and the Catskills.

Sunshine and Daylight



All that is to say, not every November day will be met with some form of cold water falling from the sky! However, it will be getting steadily darker and more overcast. With the days growing shorter as we inch closer to the winter solstice, November in New York sees a decrease in daylight hours. At the beginning of the month, you can expect around 10 hours of daylight, but this drops to about 9 hours by the end of November. Additionally, November skies tend to be overcast more often, with less sunshine compared to the earlier fall months. This pretty much goes the same for the City and Upstate New York.

Wind and Storms

November in New York can be characterized by brisk winds, particularly as the month progresses. It’s important to remember that the region is not immune to Nor’easters.

A Nor’easter is a coastal storms that bring strong winds and heavy precipitation. They are quite common during the month of November. These storms can have a significant impact on the weather, leading to localized flooding and power outages. Whether you’re in Upstate New York or in the City these storms can cause disruptions to travel and daily routines. It’s essential for residents and visitors to stay informed about weather forecasts during this period.

Historical Weather Patterns


To gain a better understanding of November weather in New York City, it’s instructive to look at some of the more notable historical weather events. Looking at the past can provide insights into what to expect in the future. Let’s take a brief journey through some notable weather events from Novembers past:

In New York City Hurricane Sandy is perhaps the most infamous November weather event in recent memory. This hurricane struck the northeastern United States, including New York City, in late October and early November. The storm caused extensive damage, flooding, and power outages, leaving a lasting impact on the city.

We also have had notable snowstorms like the Snowstorm of 2018. This surprise snowstorm caught many New Yorkers off guard. Several inches of snow fell in the city, leading to travel disruptions and school closures.

If you’re heading up to one of the colder regions of the state we can look at the Lake Effect Snow which Upstate New York is known for! This phenomenon occurs when cold air passes over the relatively warmer waters of the Great Lakes, picking up moisture and depositing it as heavy snowfall in certain areas. November can bring the first significant lake effect snow events of the season.

To finish off notable weather events we can’t forget the Foliage Finale! November marks the tail end of the fall foliage season in Upstate New York, which makes it the perfect time to catch the last bursts of color before the trees become bare and winter arrives.

Packing Tips


As you head up to the North East for your November vacation it’s crucial to pack accordingly to ensure comfort, enjoyment and even safety! Here are some essential New York November packing tips whether you’re staying in NYC or in a more mountainous region.

Layer Up for Comfort

The key to staying comfortable in New York’s November weather is layering. Make sure to bring a mix of sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, and a waterproof jacket for protection against rain or snow. Windbreakers are also ideal. If it gets windy and you don’t have something that prevents the wind from going straight through your clothes you’ll become very cold very quickly.

Accessorize Wisely

Accessorizing may keep you comfortable! Don’t forget to pack a hat, gloves, and a scarf. These items can make a significant difference in staying warm when the temperatures drop. Especially if you’re going on and off the subway–you may be stuck waiting in a cold station for your train to arrive.

Waterproof Footwear is Key

One of the most important things to remember is waterproof footwear. November can be a wet month in New York, so waterproof boots or shoes are a wise choice. If you’re staying in the city make sure they are also comfortable! You want to make sure you can walk for long distances without having wet, cold and potentially blistered feet. Having proper footwear will keep you ready for both rain and snow.

Always Carry an Umbrella

Keeping an umbrella is good advice for any time of year in New York. It’s easy enough to throw a compact, travel-sized umbrella in your bag or around your wrist. It can be a lifesaver in case of unexpected rain showers! Especially if you’re stuck in the city where you are mostly walking around.

Stay Charged with a Power Bank

This one is better for New York City travel any time of year, or if you aren’t using a car on your trip: bring a power bank. If you’re relying on your smartphone for navigation, communication and everything in-between then this is a must-have! A portable charger will ensure your device stays charged throughout the day.

November Weather in Upstate New York and NYC: Tips, Activities, and Packing

Activities and Events


Now, despite some potentially unpredictable weather, both New York City and Upstate New York offer a plethora of things to do in November.

Things to do in New York City in November

One of the classic ways to enjoy the crisp fall November weather in New York City is to bundle up and take a leisurely walk through Central Park. It’s a great place to admire the foliage as it transforms into stunning shades of red and gold. This massive park’s beauty is only enhanced by the crisp autumn air.

If you’re into famous things to do then attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! It features massive floats, marching bands, Broadway cast performances, and giant balloons. This parade truly is a beloved tradition that ushers in the holiday season.

Another great classic NYC thing to do is lace up your skates and hit the ice at one of the city’s famous rinks. You can head straight for the Rink at Rockefeller Center or Wollman Rink in Central Park. Either way, you’ll work up a sweat in the cold November weather.

If you don’t want to spend your time outside in the chilly air then head to a museum! New York City is home to world-class museums like The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History. November’s cooler weather makes it an excellent time for indoor cultural exploration.

Lastly, NYC is a great place to get some holiday shopping done! Get a head start by exploring the city’s boutiques, department stores, and holiday markets. Thrift stores and street vendors are great places to find small unique gifts. The festive atmosphere and twinkling lights add to the charm.

Things to do in Upstate New York in November

Now, by the time November rolls around most of the fall foliage may have already fallen. However, November offers a unique opportunity to witness the beauty of late fall foliage. Explore Upstate New York’s parks, forests, and scenic highways to capture the last golden hues of autumn.

If you’re heading up to the Finger Lakes region then get ready to enjoy some wine! This beautiful region in New York is known for its wineries, and it’s a delightful destination year-round. In November, you can enjoy wine tasting against the backdrop of autumn’s muted colors and tranquil landscapes.

If you’re looking for more outdoor adventures then check out the abundance of hiking and outdoor adventures that New York offers! Upstate New York boasts a wealth of hiking trails and outdoor activities. Bundle up in warm layers and embark on hikes to enjoy the crisp air and serene natural beauty.

Make sure to check out some of the many historic sites that New York has! Make sure you explore historic sites such as Fort Ticonderoga, Saratoga National Historical Park, and the Erie Canal Museum.

Exploring Upstate New York’s November Delights

Are you a foodie? Try the local cuisine! Warm up with hearty and comforting local dishes like chicken and biscuits, apple cider doughnuts, and New York-style cheesecake.

Many towns and cities in Upstate New York host Holiday Markets as November transitions into December. These charming holiday markets offer unique gifts, festive treats, and a chance to get into the holiday spirit.

If you’re eager to indulge in New York’s remarkable arts and culture scene, you’ve come to the right place! Upstate New York boasts a wealth of cultural institutions and museums waiting to be explored. On a rainy day, immerse yourself in captivating art, history, and science exhibits at renowned locations such as the Corning Museum of Glass and the Strong National Museum of Play.

Lastly, check out some of the great hot springs in Upstate New York! Saratoga Springs, in particular, offer a unique spa experience filled due to their mineral-rich waters.

So, How Will You Spend Your November in NY?

New York is in a time of transition in November. Come witness autumn’s beauty gracefully yield to the enchantment of winter.

Amidst this transition, November Weather in New York can be quite unpredictable, with the possibility of rain and even snow. However, this weather variability also adds a unique charm as the city begins to prepare for the holiday season. The region’s moderate temperatures, scenic landscapes, and a host of activities make it an inviting destination.

From Central Park strolls to ice skating to leaf-peeping, and savoring local cuisine, there are plenty of activities to enjoy despite the cooler temperatures. So, don your warmest attire, embrace the brisk air, and immerse yourself in the captivating wonders of this charming state.

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