London and New York City are two most famous global cities. If you’re wondering which of these cities has better weather, here’s a comparison of average weather conditions you can encounter in them.
Climate data in this article comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for New York (for Central Park) and from the Met Office and World Data Center for Meteorology for London (for Hampstead and LHR).
London vs New York: Average Temperatures
Both cities have four seasons, though London’s seasons are a little less pronounced due to a more temperate oceanic climate.
The average high temperature in the winter in New York City reaches 40-44 °F (4-7 °C). Nights are much colder, with temperatures dropping to 28-38 °F (-2 to 1 °C).
London has a milder winter. The average high temperature between December and February is 47-48 °F (8 °C) while the average low temperature is 37-38 °F (3 °C).
The average for New York winter weather conditions are thus much colder than in London. The situation begins to change in early April with the arrival of spring.
NYC records about 62 °F (17 °C) during the day and 46 °F (8 °C) at night in April. Meanwhile, London records 57 °F (14 °C) during the day and 43 °F (6 °C) at night. New York’s average temperatures stay much higher than in London until December.
Summers in NYC can get hot, with average maximum temperatures climbing up to 85 °F (29 °C) compared to 75 °F (24 °C) in London. On windier, cloudier days, summers in London may feel a little chilly, if not cold compared to New York that is virtually never cold in the warmest months.
Whether New York or London wins here depends on what climate you prefer. If you prefer warmer temperatures, New York is an unquestionable winner. Most of the year it has warm to hot temperatures. But if you prefer milder weather, then London would offer better weather for you as it has warmer winters and cooler summers.
London vs New York: Sunshine Hours
New York records much higher sunshine hours than London. There’s no contest here. NYC is blessed with a sunny climate with about 2,535 hours of sunshine a year. Meanwhile, London is… well, not so sunny in comparison. It has about 1,559 sunshine hours a year.
Winters in particular are gloomy in London. In the cloudiest month, December, London gets only 54 hours of sunshine. That’s almost three times less sun than in New York which gets 139 hours of sun in December.
New York wins with its sunny weather, while London doesn’t even get anywhere close.
London vs New York: Precipitation
London is famously known as a rainy city. But in reality, New York’s average precipitation amount is much higher due to the city having a humid subtropical climate.
According to climate data, New York experiences 125 days with precipitation while London experiences 120 days of rain. This isn’t a big difference but it’s on average 5 days of rain more in NYC.
We can notice a much bigger difference in annual rainfall. New York records on average 49.52 inches (1,258 mm) of rain. Meanwhile, London gets about half this amount: 28.43 inches (722 mm).
Precipitation-wise, London is a clear winner here.
London vs New York: Snow
Very snowy winters aren’t a thing neither in London nor in New York. In New York there are on average 11 snowy days while London experiences 16.
Snowfall amounts per year are much higher in New York City than in London. NYC records 29.8 inches (76 cm) of snowfall while London records 18.4 inches (46.7 cm).
Because New York gets considerably more snow, London wins here.
London vs New York: Humidity
London’s climate is much more humid year round. The average relative humidity is between 65-81% year round. Winters in particular are very humid, with humidity around 80% between November and February. Such high humidity makes winters feel colder. The lowest humidity is in the summer but it’s still relatively high at about 65-70%.
Meanwhile, in New York City humidity is between 55-68%. Winter humidity is around 60-65%, while summers are around 65-70%.
While both cities are humid, New York City is less humid and offers a more pleasant climate.
London vs New York: Which Climate Is Better?
If we were to count points for every climate factor, we would end up with a 2:2 tie. But if we were to give more weight to New York’s MUCH sunnier weather, New York would win this climate comparison.
Also, because most people prefer to live in warmer climates, New York could get another point here. London generally doesn’t have particularly warm weather, while NYC enjoys at least several months of high temperatures.
So for me overall, as someone who prefers higher temperatures and more sun, New York City has a better climate.
Granted, New York City deals with colder winters, more snow, and more days with frost. But it’s usually 3-4 months at most and then the rest of the year is warm to hot. Meanwhile, London doesn’t have such dependable great weather for 8-9 months a year. Springs can still be cool and even summers don’t come with a guarantee that it will be warm and sunny most days.
The only aspect of London’s weather that may make it a better city climate-wise for some people is its mildness. London is inoffensive. It doesn’t have particularly cold winters and it doesn’t have sweltering hot summers. If that’s your idea of good weather, then London’s climate would be better for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
London has an oceanic climate moderated by the warm Gulf Stream which brings warmer temperatures.
Seattle has one of the most similar climates to London, though it’s sunnier and warmer in the summer. Seattle has more rain than London, too.
Both cities have very gloomy winters. But year round London is still gloomier than Seattle as it gets about 570 fewer hours of sunshine.
London has slightly warmer winters while New York is much warmer in the summer. Year round, New York has a much warmer climate than London.
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