Cape Cod Weather

Cape Cod has so much to offer including varied weather depending on the time of year.  It is therefore important that you bring the right items when visiting the Cape--or you'll be doing some shopping. 

Cape Cod's maritime climate changes from day to night and from day to day. Because it is a peninsula, it is more temperate than surrounding areas (cooler in summer, warmer in winter).  It is sometimes necessary to pack for two seasons.

Remember--if you go out on the open ocean on a boat, whether it be for fishing, whale watching, etc.--always bring pants, a warm top, and a light jacket, even in July and August. The ever-present offshore breeze is significantly cooler than on land.

General Guidelines


Checking out chilly South Beach in Chatham. Photo by John Fitts.

January - March

Pack for snow, rain, and (hopefully) sunny days in the 40s to 50s. This includes a heavy coat, gloves, waterproof, insulated boots or shoes, turtlenecks, sweaters, and thermal underwear.

Includes a medium weight jacket to be worn over other layers for golfing, biking, or walking.

April

Pack for late winter and spring. April is variable --a light snow in early April is common.  Towards the end of the month it can be in the 40s and 50s. Waterproof shoes or boots are a must, as are medium and heavy jackets.

May

May is still a bit chilly (50s to 60s) but bring one pair of shorts. Lightweight pants, cotton sweaters, and a medium to light jacket will suffice.

It's a great time for outdoor activities like biking, birdwatching, golfing, or walking--you won't be hot. Don't forget sunscreen.

June

Count on beautiful early summer weather--not too cool, not too hot (60s to mid 70s). Bring lightweight pants, some shorts, lightweight shirts, and cotton sweaters.

A light jacket is needed for the evenings.

Bring sunscreen, a swimsuit, and beach gear including chairs, a cooler, bug spray, etc. When going to the beach this time of year, always bring some warm clothes in case it gets chilly. The saltwater is still a little cold for swimming, although kids and some adults brave it. Fresh water ponds are a little warmer.


Drying off after a dip at Marconi Beach in Wellfleet. Photo by William DeSousa-Mauk.

July-August

Classic Cape Cod summer days--70s to 80s--even creeping into the 90s.  Light salty breezes and cool nights.  Pack for summer, but bring two pairs of pants and two cotton sweaters or warmer tops for evening.

The beaches are in full swing. The saltwater is comfortable for swimming; fresh water is warmer.

Always bring a sweatshirt or warmer top to the beach--a cool breeze can kick up anytime.

September

A slightly cooler version of August. Beach weather possible early in the month. Bring a light jacket for late September.

October

Beautiful fall days--50s to 60s during the day with quite cool nights in the 30s and 40s. Bring heavier pants, turtlenecks, a couple of sweaters and a medium jacket.

November

Pack for winter, with an emphasis on layering. Snow is uncommon in November, but bring gloves.

December

Pack for winter.  It snows in December, so make sure you have gloves and a hat.

Average Temp./Precipitation

Temperature
Degrees F (°F)
Avg. Daily Max Avg. Daily Min Avg. Daily
January 38.1 21.1 29.6
February 39.2 21.9 30.6
March 44.9 28.6 36.8
April 54.7 36.3 45.5
May 64.7 45.3 55.0
June 74.0 55.3 64.7
July 79.4 61.4 70.4
August 78.5 53.4 62.7
September 71.9 53.4 62.7
October 63.0 43.6 53.3
November 52.3 35.2 43.7
December 42.5 34.0 34.4


 

Average Precipitation
Inches (")
Precipitation Snowfall
January 3.72 5.4
February 3.74 11.2
March 3.69 3.5
April 3.94 .2
May 3.77 0
June 2.82 0
July 2.79 0
August 4.15 0
September 3.54 0
October 3.66 0
November 4.37 .1
December 4.52 3.6