Logo   Winter in New England USA
New England's climate is not moderate , as you'll discover if you visit in winter. Go skiing! 


A New England winter may be bitterly cold, but at least the gray snowy days alternate with brilliant, crisp, sunny days when the air is cold but the sun's warmth brings people out of their homes to enjoy winter sports.

Winter varies greatly from year to year, and from northern New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont) to southern New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island).

Freezing temperatures (dipping below 32°F/0°C) arrive in northern New England in November, and in the south in early to mid-December.

In October 2018, some places in the region had 11 inches (28 cm) of snow in October, which is very early (except for the summit of Mount Washington).

The first flurries usually come to southern New England and the lower elevations in the north in mid-December, when hopes are high that the snow will enhance good skiing and snowboarding during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

If there is no snow, but the weather is particularly cold, New Englanders like me hope for five or six days below freezing (32°F/0°C) so the ponds will freeze for good ice skating.

Once the big snowfalls come and cover the ponds, skating may be over.

Ice Sculpture, Concord River, Concord MA
Ice sculptures beneath Old North Bridge, Concord MA.

Sometimes wishes for snow are too well answered, as in the Blizzard of 1978, which piled 6-foot (2-meter) drifts of snow all over Boston in a few days, closing the city for a week.

The Blizzard of January 2005 was just as bad, but it was forecast well in advance, and so caused less disruption.

January and February are cold and snowy, with temperatures ranging from around freezing (32°F/0°C) to -10°F or -20°F (-25°C or -30°C), or even lower at higher elevations in northern New England, with even colder wind-chills.

If New England's climate is feeling especially benevolent, it gives us a brief mid-winter thaw in January or early February.

LimeRock Inn, Rockland ME
Cold winter, warm welcome: LimeRock Inn, Rockland ME.

March is also cold, though often less bitter. In the northern New England states, the skiing may be quite good through April, when temperatures begin to moderate into spring.

Those who aren't skiing or snowboarding take advantage of the cities' cultural season, perhaps escaping to a country inn somewhere in the snow-clad mountains for a weekend.

—by Tom Brosnahan

New England's Climate




Foliage Season

Indian Summer

Mid-Winter Thaw

Mt Washington Weather

Tom's New England Almanac

Festivals & Holidays


Paris Girls Secret Society, a novel: 3 girls, so many secrets...


Walden Pond frozen in winter, Concord MA

Strolling across frozen Walden Pond, Concord MA.
(It's unsafe, but people do it.)

Blizzard in Vermont

Blizzard in Vermont

FTP on Facebook    
Pinterest    Twitter