Boston’s climate

Boston's climate has as much character as the city (sometimes to the chagrin of its residents).
Boston’s climate has as much character as the city (sometimes to the chagrin of its residents).

With the recent opening of our Boston office, it’s time to take a look at the climate of this historic American city. Bostonians, Cantabrigians, and others who live along Massachusetts Bay enjoy four distinct seasons, although “enjoy” might not be the first term to come to mind after this season’s relentless series of winter storms.

Winter in Boston is typically cold and snowy, but snowfall in 2015 has been unusually high. In fact, Boston set a new record for February this year, with 64.8 inches of snow measured at Logan International Airport. Nonetheless, Boston’s seaside location often moderates its winters relative to inland locations: The further west and north you travel from Boston, the colder it gets, and it’s not uncommon for locales beyond Route 128 to receive significantly more snow than the urban core.

Boston’s spring is fleeting, much to the frustration of New Englanders who have grown weary of winter but aren’t ready for summer. In what can feel like just a couple of weeks, temperatures climb, trees bloom, and winter layers come off. Although spring tends to be wet, windy, and unsettled, the promise of warmer temperatures manages to improve the collective mood.

Summers in Boston are humid and can be surprisingly hot, but sea breezes often keep temperatures in check. Summer evenings can turn decidedly cool even after a hot day. Thunderstorms aren’t unknown, but summer tends to be a relatively dry time of year. Bostonians flock en masse to Cape Cod this time of year to enjoy its beaches and maritime climate.

There is perhaps no finer place to be than Boston in autumn. For a few glorious weeks, the days are sunny, and temperatures are cool to mild. The occasional Nor’easter may roll in and disrupt an otherwise perfect fall with a few days of rain and wind, but airfare to Boston climbs during the autumn for a reason, and it’s not just the annual influx of thousands of college students and their parents. Autumn in New England really is that nice.

The average monthly climate data for Boston is given below (Source: National Weather Service).

MonthAverage highAverage lowAverage precipitationAverage wind speed
January36°F (2°C)22°F (−6°C)3.4 in. (86 mm)12 mph (5.4 m/s)
February39°F (4°C)25°F (−4°C)3.3 in. (83 mm)12 mph (5.4 m/s)
March45°F (7°C)31°F (−0.6°C)4.3 in. (109 mm)12 mph (5.4 m/s)
April56°F (13°C)41°F (5°C)3.7 in. (94 mm)12 mph (5.4 m/s)
May66°F (19°C)50°F (10°C)3.5 in. (89 mm)10 mph (4.5 m/s)
June76°F (24°C)60°F (16°C)3.7 in. (94 mm)10 mph (4.5 m/s)
July81°F (27°C)65°F (18°C)3.4 in. (86 mm)10 mph (4.5 m/s)
August80°F (27°C)65°F (18°C)3.4 in. (86 mm)9 mph (4 m/s)
September72°F (22°C)57°F (14°C)3.4 in. (86 mm)9 mph (4 m/s)
October61°F (16°C)47°F (8°C)3.9 in. (99 mm)11 mph (4.9 m/s)
November52°F (11°C)38°F (3°C)4.0 in. (102 mm)11 mph (4.9 m/s)
December41°F (5°C)28°F (−2°C)3.8 in. (97 mm)11 mph (4.9 m/s)