USA Weather & Climate

Overall, the USA climate is temperate however there are some notable exceptions when considering the cold, Arctic conditions of Alaska and the tropical climate of South Florida and Hawaii. The United States of America is divided into eight main regions, each with its own unique landscape and conditions with a distinct difference between the weather and climate in the north and the south. Generally, these regions include New England, the Mid-Atlantic, South, Midwest, Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, Southwest and Pacific Northwest with other notable inclusions Florida, Texas, California, Alaska and Hawaii offering their own distinctive weather patterns.

The Great Plains

The Great Plains are a region that encompasses North and South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma and features flat, dry and grassy landscapes which transform into arid desert further west and a more Mediterranean climate on the Californian coast. Winter in these northern states along with the Midwest states Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri and Wisconsin can see as much as 2 feet of snow in one day with temperatures dropping substantially compared to the mild but humid summer conditions. Summer temperatures can reach over 100°F (38°C) yet drop to as low as -30°F (-34°C) during the winter.

The Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountains are cold and snowy with some parts of Colorado, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming receiving up to 12m of snow in an entire season. Even in summer, mountain temperatures are still cool and snowfall can occur almost all year round. On the other hand, the deserts of the Southwest are hot and dry, especially in summer. States like Nevada, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico can see temperatures up to and above 100°F (38°C) with thunderstorms often occurring from July to September. Winters are generally mild with little to no rainfall.

The Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest is known for its cool, damp weather with places like Washington, Oregon, northern California and west of the Cascade Range seeing frequent rainfall in winter and even more from November to March. The weather is generally mild year round with extreme temperatures a rarity. Conditions in the northwest are much drier with inland regions featuring desert or semi-arid landscapes. The Northeast and Upper South weather patterns are best known for their summers with high humidity of 80% or more and high temperatures in the 90's (32°C) or above.

The Best Time to Visit the USA

Depending on what you'd like to get out of your holiday, the best time to visit the USA is generally between June to November. On the east coast, June to September is summer time and therefore very popular however if you'd prefer to avoid the crowds fall, from October to December or spring from April to June still offers lovely weather without the crowds. Alternatively, if you're planning on visiting the west coast, September to October and May to early June are pleasantly warm.