The Best Time to Visit Pittsburgh

Aerial Pittsburgh Skyline
Shunyu Fan / Getty Images

The best time to visit Pittsburgh is during summer (July to August) or in the fall (September to November). That’s when the weather is pleasant and you’ll find more things to do around the city compared to other times of year. Just know, if you visit in June expect a fair number of rainy days. Also keep in mind that the weather starts to cool off significantly by mid-November.

Regardless of when your trip falls, this guide will give you an idea of what to expect from the weather and what events to check out.

Weather in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s weather can be very unpredictable. Generally, winters aren’t as cold as you might think, but there are exceptions when it’s very cold and snowy, with the thermometer dipping to 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C) or below. Summers are typically hot and humid. If you visit in June, the wettest month, pack accordingly with a light jacket and umbrella. You’ll want shorts, T-shirts, sandals, and sunglasses for the 80-degree F (27 degrees C) days of July and August.

Overall, Pittsburgh isn’t known for sunshine. Many days are overcast or partly cloudy. The months of March and May can log 3 to 4 inches of rain each; on average, Pittsburgh gets 38 inches of rain per year. But it stays relatively warm into fall, though it can be windy and mornings and evenings are cool. For more information, read our guide on Pittsburgh's weather and climate.

Major Events and Festivals

You’ll find popular events in Pittsburgh all year long. Some attract large crowds, including conventions at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, which may make it difficult to find a hotel room Downtown. If you’re arranging a visit to coincide with a major event, be sure to book your room early. 

The most raucous crowds turn out for Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates games and concerts such as Kenny Chesney’s annual performance at Heinz Field. Tailgating is a Pittsburgh tradition so arrive to the stadium a little early and join in.

If you’re attending a festival, game or concert, avoid the traffic congestion by taking the Port Authority’s T light rail system, which is free to ride at all stops Downtown and on the North Shore, or ride the the Gateway Clipper Fleet shuttle to the stadiums.

January

This is the coldest month, with average highs of 36 degrees F (2 degrees C) and lows around 20 degrees F (-7 degrees C). Average snowfall tops 11 inches so come prepared with warm layers and snow boots. 

Events to check out: 

  • Restaurants participating in Restaurant Week offer discounts and special set menus.
  • The free, quarterly Gallery Crawl starts in January, taking you to spots along 14 blocks in the Cultural District.

February

Unless it’s a mild winter, expect another 10 inches of snow to fall this month. There’s still only about 11 hours of daylight.

Events to check out:

  • Pittsburghers celebrate the end of cold, snowy months with the winter version of Pittsburgh Beerfest at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The two-night event raises money for Animal Rescue Partners.
  • Love cars? Check out the Pittsburgh International Auto Show.

March

The temperature rises to an average high of 49 degrees F (9 degrees C), though it usually rains half the month (up to 3 inches total). Snow is still possible, but blooming daffodils and tulips provide the first promise of spring.

Events to check out:

April

The temperature really warms, to an average high of 61 degrees F (16 degrees C), but don’t be fooled: There’s still a chance for a surprise snowstorm. This month is as rainy as March, with about 3 inches overall.

Events to check out:

  • Carnegie Mellon University puts on its annual Spring Carnival, with three days of rides and buggy races.
  • The Pirates kick off baseball season with the home opener at PNC park. Stay until the 9th inning as games usually end with fireworks.

May

This is one of the most comfortable months, with an average high of 71 degrees F (22 degrees C), but there is still plenty of rain. Despite the wet weather, May still sees Pittsburghers getting outside and enjoying the warmers temperatures.

Events to check out:

June

June has the most rainfall (4.3 inches) but the average temperature rises to 79 degrees F (26 degrees C). Hiking, biking, festivals, and weekly concerts and movie screenings at parks mark the start of summer

Events to check out:

July

With an average high of 83 degrees F (28 degrees C), July is the warmest month of the year. Since Pittsburghers love fireworks and parades, there are Fourth of July celebrations in communities across the region.

Events to check out:

August

The “dog days” can push humidity levels up to 70 percent or more as the temperature hovers in the 80s Fahrenheit (27 degrees C). August still gets, on average, 9 days of rain.

Events to check out:

September

This is a great month to visit Pittsburgh. The temperature is usually in the 70s Fahrenheit (21 degrees C) but the humidity level is still high. 

Events to check out:

  • More than 250,000 people show up for the 10K Great Race. It was started in 1977 and supports medical research.
  • Thrival brings together musicians and makers for three days of celebration.

October

This is the driest month, with about 2.3 inches of rain, but it can also bring the first snowfall. The leaves change color and farm stands, pumpkin patches, and orchards offer ways to embrace fall.

Events to check out:

  • South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association holds its annual Step Trek, a tour of outdoor stairs.
  • Halloween enthusiasts and people who just like to be scared should tour Hundred Acres Manor.

November

Gray days have arrived, even if the temperature still hovers in the 50s Fahrenheit (10 degrees C). It usually snows in November, though accumulation is low (about 2 inches total). 

Events to check out: 

December

December is the month with the shortest days, averaging 9 hours of daylight. Unless it’s an unusually warm winter, this month gets about 8 inches of snow. 

Events to check out:

  • Handmade Arcade gives local crafters and artists a way to share their products with thousands of people.
  • Buy a First Night admission button to get into indoor and outdoor events at Pittsburgh’s New Year’s Eve party Downtown.
Was this page helpful?