Weather in Buffalo: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

Downtown Buffalo skyline along the historic waterfront district at night.
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

The second-largest city in New York State and the capital of Western New York, Buffalo generally follows a four-season weather pattern, although its winters are particularly harsh, with below-freezing temperatures and large amounts of snowfall typical. Summers in Buffalo are generally mild and pleasant, with a cool breeze coming off Lake Erie.

The coldest month is usually January, when temperatures can drop to an average low of 18 degrees F (-8 degrees C).  The hottest month of the year is July when the average high is around 82 degrees F (28 degrees C). The city gets rain any time of year, with an average of around nine days per month seeing rainfall.

Thanks to what’s known as lake-effect snow coming off of Lake Erie in the winter, Buffalo is known as the second snowiest city in New York, just behind Rochester. Typically, Buffalo gets an average of around 89 inches of snow per year. Snow is frequent between November and April, but it most commonly occurs in December, January, and February (these three months also have the highest average inches of snowfall, with January reaching an average of 29 inches).

Buffalo is a year-round destination, but most people visit during the warmer months. June, July, and August are the most popular months to visit, while spring and fall provide a quieter experience. Although winter is less popular for tourists, locals indulge in all kinds of winter sports. However, certain attractions may be closed in winter so check websites carefully for updated information. Additionally, if you are planning to travel here in the winter, check the forecast for snow as it will likely impact your trip. You’ll want to check with your transportation provider to ensure they are still operating.

No matter which season you choose to visit, as long as you’re prepared for the appropriate weather, you’re sure to have fun.

Fast Climate Facts

  • Hottest Month: July (73 F / 23 C)
  • Coldest Month: January (25 F / -4 C)
  • Wettest Month: October (3.8 inches)
  • Snowiest Month: January (29 inches)

Spring in Buffalo

Early spring still feels pretty chilly in Buffalo—but by late spring things begin to warm up. Highs range from 42 to 69 degrees F (5 to 21 degrees C), and lows are between 27 and 51 degrees F (-3 and 10 degrees C) on average. Rain is somewhat common, with seven to eight days of significant precipitation per month.

What to Pack: Layers are key here because, while midday might feel hot some days, mornings and evenings will still be cold. Pack a selection of T-shirts, sweaters, long pants, a scarf, and a coat. Don’t forget your rain gear.

 Average Temperatures by Month

  • March: 42 F / 27 F (6 C / -3 C)
  • April: 55 F / 36 F (13 C / 2 C)
  • May: 69 F / 51 F (21 C / 11 C)

 Summer in Buffalo

Buffalo’s summers are extremely pleasant, with hardly any days over 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) and low humidity. You’ll also feel some nice breezes from Lake Erie (the same ones that cause the lake-effect snow in winter), so head down to the waterfront on extra-hot days for some all-natural air conditioning.

What to Pack: Pack short and long-sleeved T-shirts, shorts, light pants and jeans, light dresses, sunglasses, and sunscreen. A sweater or sweatshirt is a good idea for cooler evenings, especially in June. Check the forecast for rain and bring a light rain jacket or umbrella if necessary.

Average Temperatures by Month

  • June: 75 F / 58 F (24 C / 14 C)
  • July: 82 F / 64 F (28 C / 18 C)
  • August: 80 F / 62 F (27 C / 17 C)

Fall in Buffalo

The weather starts to cool down during the fall months and rain is slightly more common. September is usually still warm in Buffalo, while it can get quite cold and even snow by November.

What to Pack: Packing for early Fall will be quite different from late in the season. If you're in Buffalo during September, you’ll want layers like T-shirts, sweaters, and jackets, with jeans. October and November are colder; pack jeans and sweaters, as well as boots, a coat, and a scarf. November might even see a few days of snow, and you should always toss in rain gear if the forecast calls for it.

 Average Temperatures by Month

  • September: 74 F / 56 F (23 C / 13 C)
  • October: 61 F / 45 F (16 C / 7 C)
  • November: 48 F / 33 F (1 C / 1 C)

 Winter in Buffalo

Buffalo winters are pretty brutal with frigid temperatures and large amounts of snow. On average, it snows about six days per month in the winter, with an average of 23 inches per winter month. The sun might shine some days, but the temperatures will remain frosty.

What to Pack: Bundle up! You’ll need a warm coat, hat, gloves, and scarf if you plan to spend any time outdoors. There’s probably already snow on the ground so bring waterproof and insulated boots. Stay cozy in items like thick sweaters and sweatshirts, jeans, wool pants, warm leggings, long underwear, and a fleece.

Average Temperatures by Month

  • December: 38 F / 27 F (3 C / -3 C)
  • January: 32 F / 18 F (0 C / -8 C)
  • February: 33 F / 19 F (1 C / -7 C)

Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours

Avg. Temp. Rainfall Daylight Hours
  January  25 F / -4 C  3.2 inches  9 hours
  February  26 F / -3 C  2.4 inches  10 hours
  March  35 F / 2 C  3 inches  11.5 hours
  April  46 F / 8 C  3 inches  13 hours
  May  60 F / 16 C  3.3 inches  14 hours
  June  67 F / 19 C  3.8 inches  15 hours
  July 73 F / 23 C  3.1 inches  15 hours
  August  71 F / 22 C  3.9 inches  14 hours
 September  65 F / 18 C  3.8 inches  12 hours
  October  53 F / 12 C  3.2 inches  10.5 hours
  November  41 F / 5 C  3.9 inches  9 hours
  December  33 F / 1 C  3.8 inches  9 hours
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