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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 is absent.


Climate information
The figures below are based on long term weather and climate records. They are an average for Washington D.C.

temperature (°C)


temperature (°C)
hours of sunshine

average days with precipitation
per month
per month
temperature (°C)
January 5 -4 5 11 n/a
February 7 -3 6 10 n/a
March 13 2 7 11 n/a
April 19 7 8 10 n/a
May 24 12 8 11 n/a
June 29 18 9 10 n/a
July 31 20 9 13 n/a
August 30 20 8 10 n/a
September 26 15 7 8 n/a
October 20 9 7 8 n/a
November 14 4 5 9 n/a
December 8 -1 4 10 n/a
= 0-5 mm ● = 6-30 mm ● = 31-60 mm ● = 61-100 mm ● = 101-200 mm ● = over 200 mm
= 0-0.2 inches ● = 0.2-1.2 inches ● = 1.2-2.4 inches ● = 2.5-4 inches ● = 4.1-8 inches ● = over 8 inches

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.

chance of
(very) hot


chance of
(very) cool
chance of

chance of
chance of
sunny days


click here for the explanation of the symbols

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.


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