The climate in Tech Valley is influenced by its latitude, topography and proximity to large bodies of water. The varied climate supports a vast amount of economical and recreational activities. Corn, apple and other tree fruit and maple products, including syrup, are abundant in the region due to a moderate climate. The comfortable summer temperatures are conducive to many outdoor activities, including swimming, boating and hiking. Skiers, snowmobilers and snowshoers enjoy the fresh snow that covers the mountain regions in the winter months.
The average annual mean temperature in Tech Valley ranges from 55 F (12.8 C) in Orange County to 40 F (4.4 C) in the Adirondack Mountains.
Tech Valley experiences pleasantly warm summers with daytime temperatures generally ranging from the upper 70s to lower 80s (24 – 29 C). Occasionally there are brief intervals of humid, sultry conditions with temperatures in the 90s (32 C). The summer is comfortably cool in the Adirondacks and Catskills. From June through September, Tech Valley receives 60–70 percent of possible sunshine hours. The summer also averages about four inches (10 cm) of rain a month. Severe droughts are rare, but sometimes there are short periods of deficient precipitation that can influence crops and vegetation.
During the winter months, the average temperature is about 16 F (-8.9 C) in the Adirondacks and 26 F (-3.3 C) in Hudson Valley. The Adirondacks experience about 90 inches (23 m) of snow beginning by late November and, depending on late snowfalls and early spring temperature, the snow usually is gone by April. The upper Hudson Valley gets approximately 60 inches (15 m) while portions of the lower Hudson Valley receive about 40 inches (10 m). The valley’s snowy season typically begins in mid-December and ends by mid-March.
Major floods, tornadoes, tropical storms and hurricanes are rare.
Tech Valley’s geography – much like its climate – is varied and allows for all types of business and leisure pursuits.
The northwestern portion of Tech Valley is dominated by the Adirondack Mountain range which contain about 100 peaks of more than 1,200 feet (370 m), including Mount Marcy (5,344 ft/1,629 m), the highest peak in New York state. The Adirondacks are bordered on the east by Lake Champlain and Lake George, on the south by the Mohawk Valley and to the west by the Tug Hill Plateau.
The Hudson River – about 315 miles (507 km) in length – begins with Lake Tear of the Clouds – on the northwest slope of Mount Marcy – and flows south past Glens Falls, Troy, Albany, Kingston, Poughkeepsie and Newburgh before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Mohawk River is another major waterway. The river flows about 143 miles (230 km) southeast from central New York past Amsterdam and Schenectady and connects with the Hudson River in Troy.
Two of the major lakes are George and Champlain. Lake George is a long (32 miles/51 km) narrow lake (about 3 miles/5 km at its widest point) that empties at its north end, through a short stream, into Lake Champlain. As the sixth-largest body of fresh water in the United States, Lake Champlain is situated in the Champlain Valley between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondack Mountains.
The Catskill Mountains, between Albany and Ulster counties, are not true geological mountains. The range is actually a dissected plateau, an uplifted region that has been eroded into sharp relief. They are an eastward continuation, and the highest representation, of the Allegheny Plateau. The Catskills contain more than 30 peaks above 3,500 feet. The highest mountain, Slide Mountain in Ulster County, has an altitude of 4,180 feet (1,274 m).