The climate of New York is generally humid. Variations in terrain, elevation, and exposure to bodies of water cause variations in climate. The coastal area has higher temperatures, less frost, less cloudiness, and fewer storms. Upstate lowlands are subject to considerable extremes in temperature, especially during winter when cold air from Canada and the interior invade the state. In summer, warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and southeastern United States may bring rains, although cloudless skies generally prevail. Average January temperatures range from -9°C (16°F) in the Adirondacks to 1°C (33°F) in New York City. The July average is 19°C (66°F) in the Adirondacks and 25°C (77°F) in New York City.
The Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes, and the Atlantic Ocean are important modifiers of temperature. Whereas the Adirondacks have an average growing season, or period without killing frosts, of only 100 days a year, the Finger Lakes area, the Great Lakes shores, and the Hudson Valley have a much greater number of frost-free days. New York City and most of Long Island have a growing season of more than 200 days.
Most of the state normally has 1,000 mm (40 in) of rain annually. Precipitation is quite evenly distributed throughout the year, with sufficient amounts of rain during the growing season to support agriculture. There are, however, occasional dry periods.
The wettest areas are the southern slopes of the Adirondacks and the Black River valley, where the normal average precipitation exceeds 1,320 mm (52 in) per year. The driest areas are found in northern and western areas, along Lake Champlain, the St. Lawrence River, and Lake Ontario.
The plains of the Eastern Lake section from Buffalo east to the Adirondacks frequently are subjected to blizzard-like storms, and a single storm may pile up more than 1 m (3 ft) of snow. The Tug Hill upland south of Watertown and directly east of Lake Ontario receives the largest annual snowfall. "New York" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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