Map from Google - Niagara_Falls
In the Niagara Falls the climate is continental
, with cold winters and warm summers. The average temperature
of January is -4 °C (25 °F), that of July is 22.5 °C (72.5 °F). Although we are on the 43rd parallel, in winter the weather is cold because the North American landmass cools down a lot, and outbreaks of polar air masses are frequent, to the point that in colder winters the waterfalls can even freeze.
Here are the average temperatures of Niagara District Airport, at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada.
Average temperatures - Niagara District
amounts to about 950 millimetres (37.5 inches) per year, and is well distributed over the seasons: in fact, weather fronts can pass in all months, due to the continual clashes between warm and cold air masses, and in the only season in which they are less frequent, that is summer, thunderstorms can erupt in the afternoon, adding more rain, so much so that summer is as rainy as autumn, at least in quantity. Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation - Niagara District
, from late November to March, precipitation occurs mainly in the form of snow (there are on average fifty days with snow per year). Snow
normally covers the ground from mid-December to early March. In a year, about 180 centimetres (70 in) of snow fall; sometimes a snowfall can be seen already in October, and in spring, still in April. In winter, real snow storms can occur, accompanied by gusts of blizzard
. During outbreaks of cold air from the north, the temperature can drop to around -25 °C (-13 °F).
However, given the unstable weather, the temperature can exceed freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) even in winter, so that snow can melt and it can even rain.
, from mid-March to May, is an unstable season, characterized by temperature changes: initially cold in March, with frequent snowfalls and frosts, it advances gradually, with the first warm days but also returns of cold, it is still on average quite cold in April, and becomes mild in May, when the first afternoon thunderstorms being to occur.
, from June to August, is warm and quite sunny, though there's no shortage of cool and cloudy days with some chance of rain, while when the weather is fine, thunderstorms can erupt in the afternoon. Sometimes you may experience hot periods, with highs around 32/34 °C (93/97 °F).
, from September to mid-November, is initially pleasant, with many sunny days, in which the temperature exceeds 25 °C (77 °F): these periods, called Indian summer, occur in September, but sometimes even in October. As the weeks pass, however, the temperature decreases rapidly, weather disturbances become more frequent, and there are the first cold days.
The amount of sunshine
in the Niagara Falls is overall good in summer, and acceptable in May and September; it is not much in the other months, and it's scarce in winter, especially in November and December, when the sun shows up rarely.
The falls are formed by the confluence of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, at the border between the US state of New York and the Canadian province of Ontario. There are two waterfalls: the Horseshoe Falls
, in the border between Canada and the United States, and at a short distance the smaller American Falls
, entirely in the U.S. territory, separated from the Horseshoe Falls by the Goat Island
. The American Falls
are actually divided into two, because at their side there are the smaller Bridal Veil Falls
, separated from them by the Luna Island
The waters flow north, because Lake Erie, in the south, is located at about 170 metres (555 feet) above sea level, while Lake Ontario, in the north, is located one hundred metres below. The jump itself is, however, about 30 metres in the American Falls (at least compared to the rocks below), and approximately 57 metres in the Horseshoe Falls.
The closest big cities are Buffalo, NY, Usa, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Lake Ontario and Lake Erie are very cold in winter, when the waters approach the freezing point, while in summer they become almost acceptable for swimming, at least for those who do not suffer from the cold, especially in August, when they reach 21 °C (70 °F). Here are the average water temperatures.
Lake temperature - Lake Erie
When to go
The best time
to visit the Niagara Falls runs from mid-May to late September. In midsummer, in July and August, not only the waterfalls are very crowded, but there may be hot and muggy days, so this period can be excluded if you cannot stand the heat. You can therefore choose May and September; in May and early June it can still be a little cold, and in any case you must always take into account the possibility of rain and temperature changes. In the first half of October it can be cold, but you can admire the trees in the spectacular autumn colours, while in spring you can see flowers blooming in the botanical garden.