The climate of Washington, D.C. (United
States of America)
Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States of America. The
letters D.C. stand for District of Columbia which is the federal
district in which the city is located. Officially Washington D.C. is
not a state, but it is not part of another state either. It also has
nothing to do with the state of Washington which is located in the
most northwestern part of the United States. The White House and the
Capitol are located in Washington D.C., just outside the city the
Pentagon is situated in the state of Virginia. Washington D.C. has a
warm maritime climate (type Cfa according to the Köppen climate
classification) with warm summers and mild winters. Washington D.C.
has four distinct seasons which may change into each other rapidly.
Washington D.C. gets 999.5 millimeters of annual precipitation, about
one third of which falls in the form of snow. In January and February
13 centimeters of snow fall per month. Washington D.C. gets 42
centimeters of annual snowfall on average.
Because the city is located almost 200 kilometers into
the interior, during the winter subzero temperatures may occur during
the night. However, during the day temperatures rise well above
freezing point. During cold periods when cold air is supplied from the
Arctic it may get extremely cold in Washington D.C.. During these
periods temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit)
are not uncommon. The lowest temperatures can be recorded in January
and February when temperatures drop to -26 degrees Celsius (-15
degrees Fahrenheit). Extreme snowfall may occur as well. In February
2010 tens of centimeters of snow fell which, in combination with
blizzards, caused daily life to come to a halt.
During the summer it is warm in Washington D.C.. In
July and August average daytime temperatures are 30-31 degrees Celsius
(86-88 degrees Fahrenheit). During warm periods caused by the supply
of warm air from the south or west temperatures may rise well above 35
degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). The highest temperature on
record is 41 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit). It may be warm
in Washington D.C. all year round. Even during the winter temperatures
of 20-25 degrees Celsius (68-77 degrees Fahrenheit) are not uncommon.
During spring tropical days with temperatures of at least 30 degrees
Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) are not uncommon.
The weather in Washington D.C. is very erratic. Large
differences in temperatures within short periods of time and an
unpredictable precipitation pattern make the work of the forecasters
worthwhile. On average 70-110 millimeters of precipitation can be
recorded per month. However, double this amount is not uncommon
either. Periods with extreme drought may occur as well, especially
during spring when it may be dry for a few weeks in row. On average,
the city gets 115 days of precipitation which are quite evenly spread
out over the year. During some years Washington D.C. only gets 80 days
of precipitation, during other years more than 200 days of
precipitation can be recorded. This means that the usual caveat in
finance also applies to these average figures in Washington D.C.:
“Past performance is no guarantee of future results”.
From July till the beginning of December there is a
risk of hurricanes in this region. However, the risk Washington D.C.
gets hit by a storm with hurricane force is small. Both fierce winds
and heavy rainfall may occur but the destructive force of a hurricane
The figures below are based on long term weather and climate records.
They are an average for Washington D.C.
More climate information
Climate tables are useful but they don’t give an overall picture of
the climate and possible weather conditions during a period of time.
How high the chances are of hot or cold weather or hurricanes can
often not be found in these tables. This is why we offer extra climate
information per month.
The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. “More climate info” is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, it’s up to the reader to use it to it’s benefit.