Western and Central New York

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DEC Regions 7, 8, and 9

The geographic focus of this site is Western and Central New York, including the Finger Lakes Region, specifically DEC Regions 7, 8, and 9). This is roughly the western half of "Upstate New York", and does not include the Adirondack or Hudson Valley regions.


New York has a temperate climate.

Winters are marked by "Lake Effect" from both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, especially when the lakes are predominantly unfrozen, picking upp moisture and precipitating heavy snow in relatively narrow East-to-West stretching regions called "snow bands".

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones for Western and Central New York

USDA Hardiness Zones for DEC Regions 7, 8, and 9 vary from Zones 4a to 6a, which represent average annual minimum temperatures as follows:

  • Zone 4a: -30 to -25 F (-31.7 to -34.4 C)
  • Zone 4b: -25 to -20 F (-28.9 to -31.6 C)
  • Zone 5a: -20 to -15 F (-26.2 to -28.8 C)
  • Zone 5b: -15 to -10 F (-23.4 to -26.1 C)
  • Zone 6a: -10 to -5 F (-20.6 to -23.3)


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Niagara Escarpment

Finger Lakes

Allegheny Foothills