Upper Valley Climate

New Hampshire is one of six states comprising the New England region. Changes in weather occur fairly often within the four seasons. You will be arriving during the start of the fall season, in mid August—a truly beautiful time of the year in New England.

The shorter, cooler days start sometime in October, but snow often doesn't fall until November—usually, shortly after Thanksgiving. Once it has started falling and sticking, don't expect to see much of the ground until about April! From December to February, the temperature is typically between 10* and 35* F (-12* and 2* C) throughout the day.

Winter—is it really that bad?

This is, perhaps, one of the most asked questions regarding the weather here in the Upper Valley. If you come adequately prepared, you'll be just fine and may even find that you enjoy the change in seasons! The great thing is that there are a lot of outdoor activities you can engage in during the winter.

How to prepare for winter

If you've never lived in a winter climate, you may not have the things you need to get through a New England winter. Here are some things to consider purchasing:

  • Warm clothes—A warm jacket, wool socks and sweaters, long johns, gloves, a scarf and winter hat, waterproof winter boots, etc
  • Warm bedding—a few extra blankets (down or wool if possible), flannel sheets, etc
  • Winter sport equipment—skis, ice skates, snow shoes, sleds, etc. (These can get fairly expensive. As a student, you will have access to these winter gears through the Dartmouth Outing Club on campus—which rents them out at relatively cheap rates for students. Of course, it never hurts to have your own equipment either!)
  • Snow tires or All Season Tires—If you've never driven in the snow, these will be crucial in helping you navigate the winter road conditions here. Depending on where you choose to live, you may have to drive to grocery shop, visit friends, get to and from the Geisel School (or lab). If you are planning to purchase a car here, consider a car with four wheel drive. Having said this, the town of Hanover and the surrounding towns are excellent about clearing the roads and maintaining safe driving conditions. For additional tips about winter driving, do visit www.aaa.com.

The good news is that even though the winter in Hanover is cold, most days are sunny, bright and far from gloomy. It's a beautiful place in all types of weather, so make the most of it by enjoying it!