The Climate of Washington DC

By | August 27, 2022

According to Abbreviation Finder, Washington DC is the capital of the United States of America. The letters DC stand for District of Columbia, which means the federal district that consists of the city of Washington. Not officially a state, but also not belonging to any other state and certainly nothing to do with Washington State, which is located in the far northwest of the US. In Washington you will find the White House and the Capitol. Just outside Washington DC, in the state of Virginia, is the Pentagon.

Washington DC has a warm maritime climate (type Cfa according to the Köppen climate classification ). Summers are warm and winters are quite mild. Washington really has four seasons, which can sometimes merge quite quickly.

On an annual basis, Washington DC accounts for 999.5 millimeters of precipitation, of which about a third falls in the form of snow. January and February each account for about 13 inches of snow per month. On an annual basis, an average layer of 42 centimeters of snow falls. Some years there can be considerably more snow, sometimes in Washington DC you have to deal with milder winters, with limited snowfall.


Due to the fact that the city is located almost two hundred kilometers inland, it can quite easily get moderate freezing during the night in the winter, while the mercury rises again to (well) above freezing during the day. During cold periods, which mainly occur under the influence of polar air from the north, it can get quite cold. Temperatures of minus twenty degrees or even lower are very possible. The depth records are at temperatures of around minus 26 degrees in January and February. Sometimes extreme snowfalls occur, such as in February 2010, where tens of centimeters combined with snow storms (blizzards) almost completely paralyzed daily life in DC.


In the summer months it is quite warm in DC; the daytime temperatures in July and August average out at 30-31 degrees. During warm periods, which mainly arise when dry warm air is supplied from the south or west, the thermometers can rise to well above 35 degrees. The heat record is 41 degrees Celsius. However, heat is something that can occur almost all year round. Even in the winter months, temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees can be measured. Tropical days (minimum 30 degrees) are no exception in spring.

Fickle weather

The weather in Washington DC is fickle. Large temperature differences within a relatively short period of time and an unpredictable pattern in precipitation make the work of the weathermen and women in this city so much fun. On average, there is 70 to 110 millimeters of precipitation per month, but months in which it falls twice are no exception. There can also be extremely dry periods, especially in late spring it can sometimes remain dry for weeks. On average, the city has about 115 days of precipitation per year, which are fairly spread over the year. Years with only 80 or just double the number of rainy days also occur. Washington is a city where the averages offer absolutely no guarantee for the future.

Hurricane Activity

There is a risk of hurricane activity in the region from July to early December. Washington DC is unlikely to experience a hurricane-force storm. There is a greater chance of remnants of hurricanes or tropical depressions, where there can still be vicious winds and heavy rainfall. However, the destructive power of a hurricane is missing.

Climate figures

The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).

maximum temperature minimum temperature hours of sunshine per day days of rainfall per month
January 5℃ -4℃ 5 11
February 7℃ -3℃ 6 10
March 13℃ 2℃ 7 11
April 19℃ 7℃ 8 10
May 24℃ 12℃ 8 11
June 29℃ 18℃ 9 10
July 31℃ 20℃ 9 13
August 30℃ 20℃ 8 10
September 26℃ 15℃ 7 8
October 20℃ 9℃ 7 8
November 14℃ 4℃ 5 9
December 8℃ -1℃ 4 10

Washington DC