Pittsburgh residents like to joke about persistent gloomy, gray skies, and roll their eyes if it rains for too many days in a row. On average, Pittsburgh gets about 38 inches of rain per year, although 2018 and 2019 broke records with more than 50 inches each year. Hot, humid summers make up for wet spring months, and for every winter that produces deep snows there are some that have mild days with partly sunny skies. This city definitely has four seasons, even if the weather sometimes can be unpredictable.
Summer generally is warm, with temperatures in the 80s Fahrenheit (27 degrees C), but most days are partly cloudy. July tends to be the sunniest month, averaging 8 hours of sun a day. Winter can be very cold and snowy, with temperatures dipping below 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C) some nights, and sometimes the sun only comes out for about two hours on a December day. But recent winters have been mild, with daytime highs in the mid-30s to mid-40s Fahrenheit (2 to 7 degrees C) on many days.
Fast Climate Facts
- Hottest Month: July (84 degrees F / 29 degrees C)
- Coldest Month: January (37 degrees F / 3 degrees C)
- Wettest Month: June (4.3 inches)
- Windiest Month: January (9 mph)
Summer in Pittsburgh
Summer is a good time to visit Pittsburgh since the warm weather entices visitors and residents to spend time outdoors on the rivers and trails, or in the city’s parks. There are several summertime festivals in and around Pittsburgh, including Three Rivers Arts Festival in June and Picklesburgh in July. Keep in mind that it usually rains three to four inches in June, and the humidity rises to 70 percent or more in July and August as temperatures soar into the 80s Fahrenheit (27 degrees C).
What to pack: A raincoat and umbrella are essential in June. You’ll be most comfortable in shorts, sandals, and other light clothing in July and August. Pack a bathing suit if you like to swim.
Fall in Pittsburgh
Autumn brings cooler air and lower temperatures along with a colorful display of foliage. But if it gets too cold too quickly, the leaves will simply turn brown, and if takes too long to cool down, the greenery will last longer. Most days it’s still comfortable enough to get outside for long walks, fall festivals, or a trip to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch. Pittsburghers like traditions, and fall means not only Steelers season and college football rivalries but also Friday night high school games.
What to pack: You’ll need a jacket and maybe a hat and scarf; it can be windy on fall days and make mild weather feel much colder.
Winter in Pittsburgh
If summer days are partly cloudy, winter ones are almost always so. These are the cold, gray, blah days that Pittsburghers bemoan. Though the temperature might be in the 40s Fahrenheit (5 degrees C) for much of December, it usually drops considerably by the end of the month. You can almost always expect snow in January and February, even if it’s only a dusting.
What to pack: You’ll need a winter coat, hat, gloves, and scarf, especially if you’ll be outside for any length of time. Winter boots are good to have if it’s snowy, even though road crews keep the highways plowed and salted, and businesses generally clear their sidewalks.
Spring in Pittsburgh
This is the time for unpredictable weather, but no matter what the day brings, you can count on cool mornings and evenings. March and May average three and four inches of rain, respectively. Thousands of people turn out for Pittsburgh’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which lasts about three hours. When the weather warms in April, bulbs and wildflowers begin to bloom and the trees bud; the Spring Flower Show at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens marks the change in season. The Pittsburgh Marathon starts the month of May, and Kennywood amusement park opens.
What to pack: Bring a light jacket and a sweater for those roller coaster temperatures and an umbrella for the rain. Walking shoes are a must if you’ll be hiking, biking, or exploring neighborhoods on foot.
|Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours|
|Month||Avg. Temp.||Rainfall||Daylight Hours|
|January||30 F||2.7 inches||10 hours|
|February||31 F||2.4 inches||11 hours|
|March||40 F||3.0 inches||12 hours|
|April||51 F||3.1 inches||13 hours|
|May||61 F||4.0 inches||14 hours|
|June||70 F||4.3 inches||15 hours|
|July||74 F||3.8 inches||15 hours|
|August||72 F||3.5 inches||14 hours|
|September||65 F||3.1 inches||12 hours|
|October||53 F||2.3 inches||11 hours|
|November||43 F||3.2 inches||10 hours|
|December||34 F||2.9 inches||9 hours|
Time and Date. "Climate and Weather Averages In Pittsburgh." December 2002.