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Syracuse: Geography and Climate

Syracuse is located in the center of New York State on the south shore of Lake Ontario in a region of rolling hills, flat plains, lakes, and streams. The salt springs discovered there when Native Americans first settled the area have since disappeared. The city itself lies on a rise at the south end of Onondaga Lake. During the nineteenth century, Syracuse was important for its location as a port at the junction of the Oswego and Erie canals. Syracuse enjoys a four-season climate with marked seasonal changes. Cold air masses from the Great Lakes make for cold, snowy winters. During the summer and parts of spring and autumn, temperatures rise rapidly in the daytime and fall rapidly after sunset, so the nights are relatively cool. Excessively warm spells are rare and precipitation is well distributed throughout the year.

Area: 25 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 414 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 24° F; July, 71° F; annual average, 47.4° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 36 inches total; 114 inches snowfall

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