Does it snow in Washington, D.C.?

Does it snow in Washington (D.C.)? Yes, winters in Washington are almost never without snowfall, which is not surprising given how often this city experiences subfreezing temperatures.

Washington, D. C., formally the District of Columbia, is the capital city and federal district of the United States of America. Due to its location near the North Atlantic Ocean, Washington, D.C., has a low elevation compared to other cities, ranging from 0 to 409 feet.

On the other hand, D.C. it is a planned city, so it is not surprising that it has remarkable architecture and design, attracting a considerable influx of tourists to its streets.

Washington, D.C., experiences a humid subtropical climate (Cfa, Köppen), a climate type characterized by hot, humid summers and cold winters with consistent precipitation in the form of water, sleet, and snow.


    Snow in Washington, D.C.?

    Snow in Washington Monument.
    Snow in Washington Monument.

    Although this city is not characterized by particularly stormy winters, frost and snowfall are usually recurring meteorological phenomena in Washington (D.C.) winters.

    Curious fact

    On average, Washington, D.C.’s snow and frost period run from November 18 (late fall) to March 27 (early spring).

    Generally, snowfall is not heavy enough to cause logistical problems in the city. However, every five years, on average, Washington, D.C. often experiences dangerous snowstorms, which can quickly accumulate more than 25 inches in a few days.

    Curious fact

    During the 1922 nor’easters, specifically between January 27 and 28 of that year, Washington (D.C.) received 28 inches of snow.

    The climate of Washington, D.C.


    As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Washington, D.C., has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen, Cfa). In other words, its summers are considerably hot and humid, with precipitation approaching four (4) inches accumulating on average; and its winters are mild, with measurable snowfall and thunderstorms from late fall to early spring.

    Due to its proximity to the Potomac River and other bodies of water, such as the North Atlantic Ocean, Washington, D.C.'s annual rainfall is considerably high, easily exceeding forty (40) inches of average accumulation. Although this rainfall is usually distributed relatively evenly throughout the year, summers have the highest rainfall on average.

    As for the temperatures of D.C. concerns, January is the coldest month in the city, with an average low of 14.3 °F, while July is the warmest month, with an average maximum of 98.1 °F. However, as is usual in cities with subtropical climates, the warmest month (July) is also the one with the highest rainfall in D.C.


    Summer weather characteristics

    • Highest record temperature: 106 °F / 41.1 °C (August 6th, 1918, and July 20th, 1930.)
    • Average high: 85.8 °F (29.8 °C.)
    • Average low: 68.75 °F (20.4 °C.)
    • Average precipitation per summer month: 3.93 inches (9.9 cm.)

    Winter weather characteristics

    • Lowest record temperature: −15 °F / -26.1 °C (February 11, 1899.)
    • Average high: 49.6 °F (9.7 °C.)
    • Average low: 33.75 °F (0.97 °C.)
    • Average precipitation per winter month: 3.09 inches (7.8 cm.)
    • Average snowfall per winter month: 3.4 inches (8.6 cm.)

    Precipitation and other weather characteristics

    • Average precipitation: 41.82 inches (106.2 cm.)
    • Average annual snowfall: 13.7 inches (34.8 cm.)
    • Average snowy days: 8.
    • Average frost per year: 64 days.

    When does it snow in Washington, D.C.? 🌨

    Snow in Smithsonian Castle
    Snow in Smithsonian Castle / Washington, D.C. | Flickr.

    Does it snow in Washington, D.C. in November?

    Yes, it might snow in November. Starting this month, some light and measurable snowfall are possible in Washington (D.C.). Generally, these first snowfalls do not exceed 0.1 inches of accumulation (on average). 

    Does it snow in Washington, D.C. in December? 

    Yes, it does. Once winter begins, snowfall peaks in Washington (D.C.), easily exceeding an inch of accumulation on average.

    Curious fact

    As far as White Christmas goes, Washington (D.C.) isn’t exactly the place to experience it. However, while the odds are slim, Washington (D.C.) has recorded seven White Christmases in the past 130 years: 1892, 1902, 1909, 1935, 1962, 1969, and 2022.

    Does it snow in Washington, D.C. in January? 

    Yes, it does! When major snowstorms (nor'easters) hit Washington (D.C.) every four to six years, they usually occur in January. For example, the blizzard of 1922, in which the city officially received 28 inches of snow on January 27-28 of that year. 

    Does it snow in Washington, D.C. in February? 

    Yes, it does! Oddly enough, temperatures and snowfall can be the same or even more extreme in February than in January. For this reason, it is not surprising that the average snow accumulation for February is slightly higher than for January. 

    Does it snow in Washington, D.C. in March? 

    Yes, it does! Despite it being the last month of the winter, even in the least snowy years of this city, Washington (D.C.) sees two inches of accumulation on average.

    How much does it snow in Washington, D.C.? 🌨

    Next, we present an informative table on different climatological parameters of Washington DC, which includes the average snowfall per month expressed in inches:

    Average low (°F)30.131.838.648.458.067.572.471.
    Mean minimum (°F)14.316.923.434.945.555.763.862.151.338.728.821.312.3
    Record low (°F)−14−1541533435249362611−13−15
    Average precipitation (inches)2.862.623.503.213.944.204.333.253.933.662.913.4141.82
    Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)9.79.311.010.811.610.610.
    Average snowfall (inches)
    Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 inches)

    Informative table on different climatological parameters of Washington DC, which includes the average snowfall per month expressed in inches.

    The above data comes from climatic data provided by the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

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