January Weather in New York City

This post summaries the January weather in New York City, with tips on what to wear as well as things to do.  January is the coldest month in NYC, but high temperatures generally stay above freezing.  Nighttime temperatures are another story.  It’s critical that you dress appropriately for the season.  So, how is the weather in the Big Apple in January?   Click on this link to see all our monthly weather reports.

Average Temperatures
How Much Sun and Rain
What to Wear
Things to Do in January
Things to Do Any Month
Free Tours by Foot



Average Temperatures

Well, it’s mostly winter-like with daily afternoon high temperatures mostly in the upper 30’s f to near 40 f (3-5 c), however, 2-3 days will still likely produce highs reaching into the low to mid-50’s f (11-12 c). Overnight and early morning low temperatures tend to be in the mid to upper 20’s f (-2 to -3 c), however, a few of the colder mornings will likely see temperatures dipping down into the mid to lower teens (-9 to -12 c). The highest temperature recorded this month in NYC was 72 f (22 c) while the coldest, -6 f (-21 c). About 17 days this month will see sunny or at least partly sunny skies.


Back to top


How Much Sun and Rain?

Though January is typically the coldest month of the year in New York City, there are usually a number of sunny days. It tends to rain or snow about half of the time, so be sure to always have an umbrella and rain boots on hand!  Precipitation normally falls on about 10 days with about 4 of these recording some snow. Of the snow days, about 2 days this month normally see snowfalls of 1 inch (2.5 cm) or more with 1 day receiving 3 inches (7.6 cm) or more. (image to the right was taken on Jan 23rd, 2013 in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.  In the colder months, we spend more time indoors to keep you warm).



Back to top


What to Wear in New York in January

Winter in New York City requires at least one warm winter jacket or coat along with a warm hat and some gloves. Warm boots are also a good idea for any rain or snow days.  Ladies, when visiting New York City in the winter, a coat or jacket is a must, as well as a scarf, gloves, and a hat. If you plan on being outdoors sightseeing, a waterproof jacket will go a long way in keeping you dry in case of rain, sleet or snow conditions. If you are arriving by airplane, make sure you are carrying your jacket with you. Once you step outside of the airport, you will need it!


What to Wear in NYC in January


New York City tends to be windy in January. Layering your clothing will leave you feeling warm while outdoors, with the option to remove the layers while indoors. You may even want to invest in a pair (or more) of thermal tops and bottoms to wear underneath your clothing, especially if you live in a warmer climate and not used to the colder weather. You can purchase these at stores like Walmart or Target from anywhere between $5 to $10.

Sweaters or any thick, dark clothing material is suggested. Although wearing a skirt is doable, you will want to wear thick stockings. If you are sightseeing, pants are probably the more sensible option.

Last, but not least, footwear is an important part of vacationing in a walking city like Manhattan. Waterproof boots or shoes will keep your feet dry. If you decide to wear fashion over comfort on a sun shining day, be sure to wear thick socks to keep your feet warm. Wearing brand new shoes while on vacation usually leads to really sore feet, so make sure you break those new shoes in prior to getting on that airplane. Or better yet, bring your most comfortable walking shoes currently in your closet.


Back to top


Things to Do in January

Below is just a small sampling so be sure to read our full post on things to do in NYC in January. 

There are plenty of great things to do in New York City in January. The tourist crowds are gone, prices are a bit lower and there’s still a festive feel about the city.  

Check out our extensive post on things to do year-round in New York.


Back to top