Cary, North Carolina

Climate of Cary, North Carolina

North America

Cary, North Carolina, is a thriving town located in Wake County, in the heart of the Research Triangle Park (RTP) region. Known for its high quality of life, excellent schools, and vibrant community, Cary has experienced significant growth in recent years. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the weather and climate of Cary, it’s essential to explore its seasonal variations, precipitation patterns, temperature ranges, and the influence of its geographical location.

Geography and Location:

According to Citiesplustowns, Cary is situated in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, approximately midway between the Great Smoky Mountains to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. It is part of the larger Research Triangle Park area, which includes Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Cary’s geographic location places it within easy reach of the mountains and the coast, providing diverse recreational opportunities.

Climate Classification:

Cary falls under the classification of a humid subtropical climate. This climate type is characterized by four distinct seasons, with hot and humid summers, mild winters, and noticeable temperature variations between seasons. The town’s climate is influenced by its inland location, away from the moderating effects of large bodies of water.


  1. Spring:

Spring in Cary, from March to May, marks a transition from the cooler winter months to the warmer temperatures of summer. Average temperatures gradually increase, with highs ranging from the 50s°F (around 10°C) in March to the 70s and 80s°F (21–32°C) in May. Spring is characterized by the blossoming of trees and flowers, and residents often engage in outdoor activities.

  1. Summer:

Cary’s summers, from June to August, are hot and humid. Average daytime temperatures often exceed 80°F (27°C), reaching their peak in July. Highs can occasionally climb above 90°F (32°C). The humid conditions contribute to the perception of intense heat. Summer is a popular time for outdoor events, festivals, and recreational pursuits.

  1. Autumn:

Fall in Cary, spanning from September to November, sees a gradual cooling of temperatures and the changing of foliage. Average highs range from the 70s and 80s°F (21–32°C) in September to the 50s and 60s°F (10–21°C) in November. Fall foliage becomes a prominent feature, attracting residents and visitors to enjoy the vibrant colors of the changing leaves.

  1. Winter:

Winters in Cary, from December to February, are mild compared to many other parts of the United States. Average daytime temperatures range from the 40s and 50s°F (around 4–15°C). Frost can occur, but snowfall is typically minimal, and the town may experience occasional snow cover during colder periods.


Cary receives a moderate amount of precipitation throughout the year, with an average annual rainfall of about 47 inches (1194 mm). Precipitation is relatively evenly distributed across the seasons, with slightly higher amounts during the late spring and early summer months. Winter brings some precipitation, and the town may experience occasional light snowfall.

Influence of Inland Location:

Cary’s climate is influenced by its inland location, away from the moderating effects of large bodies of water. Unlike coastal areas that experience more moderate temperatures due to the influence of the ocean, Cary’s climate can see more pronounced temperature variations between seasons. The absence of a significant water body nearby contributes to the town’s continental characteristics.


Cary may exhibit microclimates within its boundaries due to variations in elevation, local topography, and urban development. Areas with different elevations or proximity to water bodies, such as Jordan Lake to the west, may experience slightly different temperature and humidity levels compared to other parts of the town. These microclimatic variations contribute to the diversity of experiences within Cary.

Urban Heat Island Effect:

The urban areas within Cary, particularly around commercial centers and densely populated neighborhoods, may experience the urban heat island effect. Urban heat islands occur when buildings and pavement absorb and retain heat, leading to higher temperatures compared to surrounding rural areas. This effect is more pronounced during the nighttime, contributing to warmer overnight temperatures in urbanized environments.

Recreation and Outdoor Activities:

Cary, with its numerous parks, greenways, and recreational facilities, offers residents and visitors ample opportunities for outdoor activities. The town’s commitment to green spaces allows for activities such as hiking, biking, and picnicking throughout the year. The diverse recreational opportunities contribute to the high quality of life enjoyed by Cary residents.

Climate Change Considerations:

Cary, like many communities worldwide, faces considerations related to climate change. Changes in temperature, precipitation patterns, and the potential for more extreme weather events are areas of concern. The town may be engaged in climate resilience planning, focusing on sustainable practices, green infrastructure, and community initiatives to address these challenges.


Cary, North Carolina, experiences a humid subtropical climate characterized by its four distinct seasons. With a mix of residential neighborhoods, parks, and a commitment to green spaces, residents and visitors can enjoy a diverse range of experiences throughout the year. Cary’s proximity to the Research Triangle Park and its strategic location within the state make it an attractive place to live and work. As the town continues to grow, climate considerations will likely play a crucial role in shaping sustainable practices and ensuring the well-being of its residents.

Cary, North Carolina