How do you survive winter in NYC? Here’s your guide for 2020

How do you survive winter in NYC? Here’s your guide for 2020

Winter is here! If you’ve lived in NYC for the past four months, you haven’t seen too much cold weather, but if you’ve lived in New York City longer, you know what cold is. Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned Newyorker, here are some questions answered about winter in New York City.

How cold will NYC really get this winter?

New York City is in the north, and the further you go, the colder it becomes. Also not to mention, the wind plays a big part in it feeling extra cold. Here are a few things to expect as winter comes in NYC.

High and low temperature

It gets pretty chilly in the big city. These are average temperatures, but it could get a lot colder in the later months of winter. The right types of clothing (listed later) is important. In Central Park, the lowest temperature was -15 degrees Fahrenheit in 1934 and the highest was 106 degrees Fahrenheit in 1936. But with good luck, the temps won’t get this low this season.

For a more realistic idea of temperatures, here’s what to expect for highs and lows for the Big Apple:

high low temperatures

How much snow will fall this winter?

It’s hard to know exactly how much snow will fall this winter, but we can look at the average snowfall to gain a better idea of what will come. On average, 25 inches falls in one winter in NYC.

Central Park saw a record snowfall of 27.5 inches in 2016. Thankfully, you won’t have to deal with that much at one time, but it’s good to know what one storm can bring.

When it snows or ices, what do I do?

Stay home. Just kidding, you have a mission to achieve! A little cold weather won’t and CAN’T stop you! As you head out to brave the cold weather, snow, and ice; here are a few things to do to prepare:

Wear tall boots

Your warmth and well-being should be your first priority. A comfortable, high-ankle, and waterproof boot is a must in NYC. Men and women need good winter boots in snow and ice. Walking is how you get from point A to point B, so comfortable boots are needed. (More on boots later.)

A strong shovel and rock salt

fur storage

If you live in a home or by an entrance to the street, you’ll need a strong snow shovel and rock salt to remove snow and ice. If snow falls in the morning, it’s good to move it before nighttime comes because it could turn into ice by morning. If you get to it too late, you’d have to chisel it to break and crack it. This takes too much energy.

Scatter rock salt on the cement before the snow comes to melt freezing precipitation. Put it out before it snows to have the most effect. Then moving snow in the morning will be much easier!

Stay away from the road by the sidewalks

The biggest reason for this is to refrain from being soaked by passing cars or trucks. They can splash water up from the road onto the sidewalk — and you — if you’re close by. Also, on the rare occasion, a snowplow could pass and spray up slush. Stay vigilant and as you walk these wet streets.

Watch for ice

Cold weather also brings freezing temperatures. Watch for ice or “black ice” on sidewalks. Take careful steps when walking in “wet” areas. These patches may be ice that’s frozen from freezing temperatures. Many people have slipped and fallen walking in these areas. Don’t hurt yourself!

What are the best clothes I need for cold weather?

When it comes to cold-weather gear, having the right clothes are important. Refer to the below info when considering the best equipment to buy.


Having the right jacket is one of the most important things (besides shoes). You’ll need something insulated, waterproof, and stylish. There is a slew of other things to consider as well, like a hood, an outer/inner shell, how long it should be, and pockets.

Here are a few good companies that make excellent jackets:

  • The North Face: A long-standing company that makes reliable clothing, not just jackets.
  • L. L. Bean: All-weather types of clothing for men, women, and children.
  • Eddie Bauer: Reliable and strong outdoor clothing for all ages.
  • Patagonia: Stylish and sleek for the avid outdoors person.
  • Canada Goose: Expensive but very warm.

Longsleeved shirts

When it comes to a longsleeved undershirt, you’ll need something that’s polyester or polypropylene. Polyester can absorb water. So if you’re hiking or going for a long walk and plan to sweat, polyester is a good option for you. Here’s an example of a polyester shirt:

DRI-Equip Long Sleeve Moisture Wicking Athletic Shirts

Moisture-wicking polyester shirt

If you are, however, going out for a short walk and don’t plan to perspire, polypropylene is your friend. Here’s an example of something to wear:

ColdPruf Men's Enthusiast Single Layer Long Sleeve Crew Neck Base Layer Top

Single-layer long sleeve top


Having durable pants are important, and there are many RIGHT kinds of pants to wear. Maybe you are a jeans type of person. That’s okay! Maybe you enjoy wearing leggings, or skirts in cold weather. That’s okay too! Wear pants that are warm and reliable for walking and riding the Subway.

Winter socks

There are many types of sock fabric types: Merino Wool (SmartWool), Acrylic, Cotton, Nylon, Elastane, Spandex, or Lycra. You’re best, year-round, durable, and reliable sock material would be Merino Wool. Look for socks that are made from this type of material.

Take into consideration how high your socks should be too. Sometimes the higher the length, the better. If you’re wearing high boots, you’ll want socks to come higher up your ankle.


Good shoes/boots are a MUST in NYC. Along with a durable jacket, boots are just as important. Here are few we recommend:

Sorel Men's Caribou Wool Boot

Sorel men’s wool boot


Keen Women's Elsa II Ankle Wool Waterproof

Keen women’s ankle boot


The North Face Women's Shellista II Mid - Dachshund Brown & Demitasse Brown - 7.5

The North Face women’s boot


Gloves, especially when it rains or snows, are very important for warmth. We recommend using mittens as opposed to gloves to take care of your cold hands. They’re easier to take off in a rush than gloves. And as a bonus, get mittens that allow for smartphone touch-accessible fingertips.


You’ll need something to keep your ears warm. If you don’t care about your hair getting a little squished, a simple beanie will be your best friend:

Cold weather

Classic fleece beanie

Maybe you don’t want your hair to be messed up. If not, simple ear warmers are a good choice for you:

YOOWL Foldable Earmuffs Ear Warmer for Women Men Fleece Ear Muffs Unisex Winter Outdoor

Earmuffs for unisex

Or for those who spend lots of time walking outside, maybe a trapper hat is the best option for you:

FUR WINTER Wool Blend Buffalo Check Faux Fur Aviator Outdoor Trapper Trooper Pilot Ski Hat

Faux fur trapper hat

Pop of color

An outfit wouldn’t be complete without a small pop of color. Put it in your shoelaces, hat, scarf, socks, undershirt, backpack, or gloves. You don’t need anything extravagant, but with dark-colored clothing such as coats, pants, and boots; something bright such as red, pink, blue, green, or yellow brings a flair that sets you apart from others.

Liquid containers

You’ll need water or another beverage as you walk across the city. A 32 oz thermos for hot, cold, or lukewarm drinks is a must. Hydro Flask, Klean Kanteen, and Yeti all make awesome bottles. Pick your favorite color and size. Here are a few to consider:

Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth

Hydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth

Klean Kanteen

Klean Kanteen Insulated TKWide 32oz

Klean Kanteen Insulated TKWide 32oz


Yeti Rambler 36 oz bottle

Yeti Rambler 36 oz bottle

How can I take my dog outside?

Your little pooch will need to go outside to find relief from time to time. If it’s a short jaunt outside, he’ll have no issue walking in the snow and slush. If, however, fluffy wants to go for a longer walk, you’ll need to prepare him for the excursion. Here are things to think about as you take him out:

Avoid salty areas

Salt and rocks can hurt his paws. Watch for patches of rock and salt and avoid those areas. Bring a light towel with you and remove grime from your pooche’s paws to make walking more comfortable for him.

Wear booties

If your dog is adamant that he wants to walk outside in the snow, put foot booties on him to shield his tender feet from the harsh climate. Just ensure they fit properly.

QUMY Dog Boots Waterproof Shoes for Large Dogs with Reflective Velcro Rugged Anti-Slip Sole Black 4PCS

Dog Boots Waterproof Shoes

Avoid long walks

Long walks in cold weather or a harsh climate may not be best for your dog. Short-haired pups are usually not adventurous enough for long walks in the big city. Longer-haired dogs, however, could go outside for longer periods of time. If it’s below freezing and it’s a walk that’s longer than a few minutes, consider buying your doggie a coat.

Reversible Field Coat for Dogs

Coat for dogs

List of small ways to stay warm in winter

  • Personal heaters in rooms
  • Pet on your lap (helps your pet stay warm too!)
  • Hot water bottle in your bed
  • Have friends or family huddle in one room
  • Make hot tea or coffee, soup, or anything hot on the stove
  • Wear lots of layers
  • Electric blanket
  • Let the sun shine in
  • Hang blankets against cold walls
  • Use rugs and carpets on the floor
  • Light candles
  • Use the oven often
  • Close doors in rooms you don’t use

Where to Store Winter Clothes come Spring

When the winter is over, you’ll need a place to store all your winter clothes. Luckily, we got you covered! Contact Moishe’s Self Storage if you’re looking for cheap storage units in New York City to hold wine, art, or other things. Our Manhattan/The Bronx and Queens/Brooklyn Storage Facilities are conveniently located near you. We offer over 20 different storage unit sizes, available to individuals, students, and businesses. Reserve your room, view specials, or contact us.


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