How to prepare for BOSTON WINTERS

01/27/23  |  Nouné Karapetian

Beginner's Guide

Boston Winters are feared and dreaded outside of Boston. When people are relocating to Boston, or Massachusetts, they have questions like how cold it gets, what clothes you should buy, what you need to have in the house, what you should eat and what you should do in Boston or in Massachusetts in the winter. In this blog, I am going to answer the most frequently asked questions about the winters in Boston.


  • How cold does it get in the winter? 

This year, and moving forward, the experts predict that the winters are going to surprise us, mild temperatures with rainfalls one day and then snow storms the next day.  

Snowfall is predicted to be about 48.3 inches in the first part of 2023,  right about average for Boston, so skiers will enjoy plenty of good snow in the mountains.

December 22nd has the shortest amount of daylight with only 9.1 hours. The temps are 42F the highest -28F the lowest. January brings the year's coldest and snowiest weather 36 - 23F

And February is the wettest month in Boston. Every day there is a 35% chance of snow or rain. 39-24F


  • What store and brands do I recommend for winter clothing? 

LLBean is a company that started in Maine, their jackets and boots are built for northeast winters.  Here you can find clothing for any degrees of warmth you desire. Their shoes and coats are of very high quality and indestructible. If money is an issue, you can always go to TJMaX and try your luck there, depending on what they carry that day, you can also find really good deals.

I have several great options for you. In general, look for everything waterproof because wet snow, freezing rain and slush protection is important. I have several options - coats, boots and even grippers, things you can wear over your boots to make them less slippery - comes in really handy when you have to clean the stairs of your house from ice in the early mornings or want to go out for a walk with your dog in the snow. 

Here is a pair of great boots for ladies

Women’s Snow Boots Columbia Women's Ice Maiden Ii Snow Boot, very comfortable, doesn’t slip.

Women’s Jacket -  Jacket that are of high quality materials and a flattering, you want to choose waterproof and windproof -

Men’s Jacket  -protects you in bitter cold or cold and frozen rain, the water just  rolls off and keeps you dry -

Ice Cleats -


If you will be taking public transportation everywhere and you will not be driving, then a long coat is a must. If you are driving and will be just going in and out of the car, shorter coats are much more convenient and you will not get cold at all. Choose something in medium or light colors - for me, personally I hate to be in dark colors all winter long, it’s depressing.

You also need couple of hats (easy to lose them), warm gloves and waterproof and warm snow boots. Buy underwear from LLBean or Uniqlo. Layering is a must when it gets really cold.

  • Getting around

It’s nice to have heated seats, heated wheels and remote starters in cars. Makes the winters much more comfortable. You want to invest in a windshield cover so that it is easy to clean up after a snowstorm, I put a  link in the description. You need to keep a windshield scraper in the car.. I have lived here for more than 20 years and there was only 1 instance when the whole car was covered in ice so I couldn't open the door to get my scraper out.  

Can you bike in the winters in Boston? I would say mostly, no. In January and February  it’s either snow or ice on the roads or it is freezing cold. Not very good conditions for biking.   

Windshield Cover - click here for windshield cover

Snow Shovel - Do you need a shovel?

When there is a word of another Nor Easter coming in Massachusetts, the News stations paint a scary picture, EVERY TIME! the stores get really busy and people start buying essentials like water, batteries, bread, milk etc. Store shelves get empty. 

We did have several dramatic winters in 1978, 1996 and 2017, when there was literally no place to put the snow but again, that’s a very rare event.

In general, It’s a good idea to have supplies and food at home when winter comes. If you like to eat at restaurants and cafes and don’t keep any food at home, that should change when the winter comes, because you don’t know how long a Nor’Easter will last.


  • In the House

When it comes to your House in the Boston area, you want to keep a shovel, salt for the front stairs and possibly a snow blower

If you've never been around a snowblower you need to be careful. The wet and heavy snow in late winter can be dangerous. Clearing the snow by hand is a pretty vigorous exercise,, many older people get injured doing it. 

Breaking bones - Falling on slippery ice  is very common in the winter. I have a cousin who fell and broke 4 of her ribs while cleaning her car in the icy and snow conditions. It’s better either 1. To buy a house with a garage  Install driveways that melt the snow. Or 3. Hire snow cleaning crew to clean your driveway.

The public places are cleaned, so you really need to worry about your home and the sidewalks in front of your home. 

Heating - if you own a home, you want to make sure you have a contract with the oil or gas company and have them check and service your heating in Sept, Oct, before the cold season starts. If you don’t have a standing contract with the company, you can bet that on Christmas Eve you will end up with no heat and guess who will get priority over you - all the customers that have a contract, you will be left last on the list and it might take them a day or two to get to you. Another important consideration - during the winter, if you are not home, make sure to leave the heat at 65 degrees min, so that the water in the pipes doesn’t freeze. Keep the cabinet doors open under the sink, to keep the air circulating.

If you are buying a house in those cold months, that’s the slowest time in the market and you can have good deals, or negotiate the price. Also, you can check the heating in the house during the inspection or If the windows and doors are drafty. You can’t check cooling though.

Humidifier - Pure Enrichment® MistAire™ Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier - Quiet Air Humidifier

click here for Humidifier


Food  - you know how the health experts say you need to eat a big green salad a day? Or even two? Well, I am a health nut and have to say, it is almost impossible to force yourself to eat cold, uncooked food for dinner. So, never mind the raw vegetarian diets. Your body will crave hot, cooked meals - for breakfast, lunch and dinner, unless you keep your home at 75 degrees every day. Soups and stews are your best friends.

Dryness - which brings me to how drying the air becomes if you crank up the heat in your home. Your eyes, your nose and your throat, and also you skin get dry and itchy. My advise - keep the heat low, if you can - at 68-70 degrees and invest in a good humidifier. There are many on the market - but the ones that you don’t need to clean every day, get a star from me!

Schools are closed when there is a storm and the conditions are slippery. Kids stay home and you need to have in mind what to do, if you need to rush to work. If you work from home, obviously, that’s not an issue. Many have a nanny on a speed dial. So, if you have school age children expect at least a couple of snow days a year.

Colds are common during the winter - the windows are closed, the viruses travel easier. Have home remedies and vitamins ready in case that happens. I am not a doctor, but what I use and it works great every time is Wellness Formula. It has Zinc, Garlic, other vitamins and herbs that are very effective if you take it first thing when you have symptoms and keep taking until you are 100%.

Wellness Formula -

You light a fire, get your favorite drink (an ale or lager, port, coffee or tea) sit in your favorite chair next to a beautiful wood fire - listening to your favorite music - maybe reading a good book.  There is nothing better.

Boston is very very close to both excellent skiing and beaches.  it’s just a short drive at best so you really have the best of both worlds. 

The good thing about winter - you appreciate spring and summer more. It can also be really pretty and doing outdoor sports in the winter is very healthy

Can you imagine living in Massachusetts? Watch my video about Boston winters Click here for Boston winter video

Boston boasts one of the most complex real estate scenes in the nation. The Boston’s market is fast-paced and can be competitive, but it can be simple to navigate with the right professional fighting in your corner. Noune Karapetian has been a resident of Boston's close suburb, Belmont for over 30 years and, as a result, knows the ins and outs of the nearby communities, localized transactional details to be aware of, and the people themselves, making her an invaluable resource for her clients. Contact Nouné Karapetian today for a few more of her top trusted tips to make your next move a serene and simple experience.

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