Averages for New York in May

What's the Weather like in New York in May

Temperature

Things really start to warm up in New York, USA in May, when the spring season is in full swing. At this time of year, the average temperature for the city begins at 12.5°C, created by highs of 17°C during the daytime and lows of 8°C at night, and rises up to 17.5°C, created by highs of 22°C during the daytime...

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  • Temperature Temperature 16°C 61°F
  • High Temperature Holiday Weather 20°C 68°F
  • Low Temperature Holiday Weather 12°C 54°F
  • Sunshine Hours Sunshine Hours 9 hrs
  • Rainfall Rainfall 114 mm
  • Rainfall days Rainfall days 15 days
  • Sea Temperature Sea Temperature 12°C 54°F

What's the Weather like in New York in May

Temperature

Things really start to warm up in New YorkUSA in May, when the spring season is in full swing. At this time of year, the average temperature for the city begins at 12.5°C, created by highs of 17°C during the daytime and lows of 8°C at night, and rises up to 17.5°C, created by highs of 22°C during the daytime and lows of 13°C at night, by the end of the month, which makes the final week in May the best time to visit the city if you want to experience New York when temperatures are at their highest.

Although it only happens on an average of 10% of days, temperatures have been known to rise above 29°C and drop below 4°C in New York in May. The highest temperature which has ever been recorded in the city during this month is 35°C, whilst the coldest temperature ever registered here at this time of year is 3°C.

Rain

Across the month, New York receives an average of 103mm/4 inches of rainfall divided between 15 wet days – that's slightly more than in April. With rainfall occurring on 50% of days throughout the month, you're almost guaranteed to get some wet weather during your holiday in May, so be prepared for it. The likelihood of rainfall occurring in New York at this time of year decreases slightly as the month develops, dropping down from 47% on May 1st down to 44% by May 31st.

The most common types of precipitation you should expect to see in New York in May are light rain (which occurs on 47% of days with rainfall), moderate rain (29%), heavy rain (9%) and thunderstorms (9%).

Snow

Even though the odds of snowfall are practically non-existent, there is a chance of it occurring. The probability of snow falling starts off at 2.1% on May 1st and drops down to 0% by May 31st, making the first week of the month the best time to visit if you're eager to see snow.

Sunshine Hours

Over the course of an average May, New York boasts nine hours of sunshine every day – that's one hour more each day than the previous month – along with median cloud coverage which ranges between 81% at the beginning of the month and 79% by the end. On an average day, the sky is clear/mostly clear 31% of the time, partly cloudy 12% and mostly cloudy/overcast 52%.

Humidity

The relative humidity for New York in May fluctuates between 47% (comfortable) and 90% (very humid), rarely dropping below 24% (dry) or reaching as high as 100% (very humid). The air tends to be at its driest around May 1st, when the relative humidity falls below 61% (mildly humid) three days out of four, whilst the air is often at its most humid around May 28th, when it rises above 84% (humid) three days out of four.

Wind

New York is relatively breezy throughout the year. In May, typical wind speeds fall between 0 m/s (calm) and 7 m/s (moderate breeze), rarely rising above 10 m/s (fresh breeze). The highest average wind speed of 4 m/s (gentle breeze) happens around May 1st, when the average daily maximum is 7 m/s, whilst the lowest average wind speed of 3 m/s (light breeze) happens around May 28th, when the average daily maximum is 6 m/s (moderate breeze).

Dress Code

Since temperatures are rather mild in New York in May, this month is the ideal time for everyone to visit, whatever you plan to do during your holiday. If you plan on visiting the city at this time of year, you'll need to take warm clothing, like jackets, jumpers and jeans, with you, plus some lighter clothes, such as t-shirts, for when the sun gets out. If you want to make the most of your holiday time and visit New York when the city is at its warmest, forget about going in May and plan your trip for July, when temperatures in the city are usually at their highest.

New York Hotels in May

When it comes to central accommodation, NH New York Jolly Madison Towers is ideal. Situated on Madison Avenue in midtown Manhattan within walking distance of Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building and loads of boutiques, bars and restaurants, this hotel is designed with a blend of Italian elegance and Art Deco style. Accommodation is provided in the form of standard rooms, superior rooms, deluxe rooms and junior suites, each of which features air conditioning, WiFi access and cable TV with film channels. Within the hotel you'll find Caffe Buongiorno which serves a daily continental breakfast buffet and Whaler Bar which offers 50% off all drinks 6pm-7pm. Although there aren't many facilities available within the hotel, you'll find museums, art galleries, shops, spas, beauty salons, gyms and many landmarks in the local area.

For something more budget-friendly, check out the Comfort Inn Central Park West. Located near the Lincoln Centre, close to the area's top attractions, such as Central Park, the American Museum of Natural History and Broadway, this European-style boutique hotel provides accommodation in the form of double rooms with double or king-sized beds, with the option to add an extra single bed for an added fee. Here guests enjoy free daily breakfasts with meat, eggs, yogurt, cereal, fresh fruit and waffles, as well as complimentary in-room coffee and free WiFi access. Although onsite services and facilities are limited, the cheap rates reflect this and you'll find plenty more bars, restaurants, shops and attractions in the local area.

Holiday Inn New York City is another great alternative when it comes to affordable accommodation in New York. Located in a quiet residential neighbourhood yet still within walking distance of attractions such as Central Park, the Lincoln Centre, Carnegie Hall and loads of shopping streets, this hotel is ideal for travellers who want to explore but also want a good night's sleep. Accommodation is provided in the form of guest rooms, executive club level rooms and suites, each of which comes with free local phone calls, newspapers and WiFi access, satellite TV and coffee making facilities. Within the hotel you'll find the Gotham Café which serves international cuisine for breakfast and lunch plus American and Italian specialities for dinner, Mercury Bar which shows live sporting events and the Skylight Lounge which is open until midnight, plus a fitness centre, rooftop pool and gift shop.

Hotel 31 is another budget hotel in New York. Situated in the heart of Manhattan, close to several department stores, world-class entertainment, fine restaurants and bars, this hotel offers guests double and family rooms, each of which features free WiFi access, cable TV and bathroom amenities – although not all rooms come with a private bathroom. There are no facilities available onsite, but you'll find three coffee shops within one block, as well as bakeries, ice cream parlours and Asian, Italian, Mexican and American restaurants. Madison Square Park, the Empire State Building, Rockerfeller Centre, Times Square and Herald Square are also nearby.

Bars and Restaurants

When it comes to the finest oysters in New York, you can't beat Pearl Oyster Bar. Open for lunch Monday to Friday, noon until 2.30pm and for dinner Monday to Saturday, 6pm-11pm, this restaurant is like an upscale lobster shack, with classic beach-style seafood dishes served in sophisticated surroundings. The menu features items such as lobster rolls, fried oysters, chowders, clams, mussels and scallops, with no options available for those who don't enjoy fish seafood. There is an extensive drinks list available, with red, white and rose wines, plus champagnes, spirits and draught beers.

If you prefer hearty steaks and chops, consider dining at Keens Steakhouse. Open Monday to Friday 11.45am-10.30pm, Saturdays 5pm-10.30pm and Sundays 5pm-9.30pm, this eatery is known for its giant mutton chops which come highly recommended. If you don't fancy mutton, the menu also features sirloin steak, rib of beef, T-bone steak, porterhouse steak to share, chateaubriand, lamb chops and chicken, as well as a raw seafood bar, salad appetisers and lobster for diners who want something lighter. There are over 15 different options to choose from for dessert, with everything from ice cream and chocolate cake to fruit sorbets and cheese boards.

The Little Owl is one of the best places to go in New York for Mediterranean food. Open for brunch Saturday and Sunday 9am-2.30pm, lunch Monday to Friday noon until 2.30pm and dinner Monday to Saturday 5pm-11pm and Sundays 5pm-10pm, this restaurant offers a seasonal menu with a few signature specialities, such as the pork chops and gravy meatball sliders, as well as daily appetiser and seafood specials. Dishes here are usually quite simple, but cooked in an extraordinary way, with the golden top cod served with squash mousse, Brussels sprouts and red cabbage relish being the perfect example. 

Things to do in New York in May

Make the most of the spring sunshine and spend a few hours at Bryant Park. Situated in Manhattan between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, this privately-owned park is home to gardens, monuments, open-air reading room, fairground carrousel, an art cart which provides visitors with free art materials, playing areas for petanque, ping pong, chess, backgammon and a putting green. Throughout May, domino matches, scrabble competitions, card games, boggle matches, board games, party games, mah jong contests and kids' games are held on specific days. There is also the Bryant Park Café which serves American cuisine and doesn't require a reservation, plus the Bryant Park Grill which offers a more sophisticated dining experience and accepts reservations.

New York Public Library boasts more than 53 million items, making it the second largest library in the US. The most popular branch of the library is found in Manhattan and houses the largest circulating collections of the library, with books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, newspapers and online databases available. One of the highlights of the New York Public Library for family is the children's zone on the lower floor which features the original Winnie the Pooh toys that appeared in the first books.

Grand Central Terminal is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city, making it a must-visit during your holiday in New York. With 44 platforms and 67 tracks, this train station is the largest in the world and is the place to go if you want to travel to the Dutchess, Putnam or Westchester counties in New York State, plus the New Haven and Fairfield counties in New Haven. There are two tours for those who want to learn more about the station – the self-guided audio tour which focuses on the architectural highlights and history of the station, with interesting facts and little-known bits of information, plus the grand tour, which is a guided walking tour that teaches you about the station's state-of-the-art design and construction.

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