How is the weather in NYC in May?

This post is a summary of the weather in May in NYC, including tips on what to pack and things to do. May offers mostly warm weather and clear skies and is one of the best times to visit NYC. 

 

NYC HOTEL DEALS ON TRIPADVISOR – If you haven’t already booked your accommodations. 


AVERAGE MAY TEMPERATURES 

Early May will see afternoon high temperatures mostly in the mid-60s F (17-19 C) while early morning lows will be mostly in the mid to upper 40s F (8-10 C).  

A few of the colder mornings, however, can still dip into the upper 30s f to near 40f (3-5C).

 
May Temperatures in NYC
 

May warms quickly with those afternoon temperatures reaching into the low to mid-70s F (22-24 C) by the end of the month.

This is a great time to join us on one of our many free walking tours.

A few of the warmer days will see temperatures reaching into the mid-80s F. (28-29 C).

An afternoon high of 90 F (32 C) or higher is possible, occurring on 1 day in May in 2 out of 3 years.

During past Mays, temperature extremes have range up to 99 F (37 C) and as low as 32 F (0 C).

 


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HOW MUCH RAIN IN MAY?

Skies tend to be sunny or at least partly sunny on about 20 days this month.

Some rainfall can be expected in about 11 days, with significant rainfalls of 1/2 inch (13mm) or more limited to about 3 days, on average.


May Rain and Sun in NYC

 


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WHAT TO WEAR IN MAY IN NYC?

Early May can be somewhat cool, though by the end of the month expect to dress for summer. We’ve made a list below of essentials to pack when visiting New York in May:

1. Light Jacket

A light jacket, windbreaker or just a sweater may be needed for chilly days. A light rain jacket like this one by Columbia is great to have and keeps you dry on rainy days. 

rain jacket

2. Umbrella

You can expect brief showers throughout the day, so packing an umbrella is a good idea. A compact umbrella like this one by Repel Umbrella is easy to carry around in your purse all day. 

black umbrella

3. Light Tops

By month’s end, you can usually expect to dress for summer. It can get very hot in the city, so shorts and a light top are often all that is needed. 

 


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THINGS TO DO IN MAY

May is a great time to visit the city as temperatures rise and many of the beautiful spring flowers remain in blossom. This is the perfect month to discover the streets and neighborhoods of NYC.

Below is the top 10 list from our post on things to do in NYC in May

See our full post on things to do at any time of year in NYC for even more ideas. 

 

 
Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass

If you are coming at the start or end of the month, be sure to check out our guides for April and June.  

Get more ideas on our full post of things to do in May.

If you are coming at the start or end of the month, be sure to check out our guides for April and June and see our full post on things to do any time of year in NYC for even more ideas. 

 


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About the author

Fred is a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade. He has extensive experience in weather analysis, weather forecasting, and forensic weather event reconstructions. Fred founded Ocean Weather Services and currently provides forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.