Weather Overview for Washington DC
Washington D.C. which was once known as the District of Columbia is the capital city of the United States of America (USA). The city is bordered by the states of Virginia and Maryland and is located on the Northeast of USA along the Pacific Coast. The city runs on the north bank of the Potomac River. The northeast of USA includes the Appalachian Mountains rising to between 4,000 and 6,000 feet. This area is said to be one of the less sunny areas of the USA but it does receive more sunshine throughout the year than most of North West Europe. The weather here has a more continental climate than the United Kingdom. Washington was the first planned capital and named in honour of George Washington, Americas’ first President. Washington is mostly flat but rises slightly from the banks of the Potomac River, surrounded by low hills in the north and rolling land in the South. Its topography is similar to Maryland being fairly flat. There are 3 major natural flowing bodies of water: Potomac River; Anacostia River and Rock Creek. The city is divided artificially into 4 quadrants: northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest. Washington’s weather has a definite 4 seasons.
The weather in Washington is dominated by a humid subtropical climate which displays hot, humid summers and cool winters. The weather in the city has a temperate climate with spring and autumn being warm and winter being cold with annual snowfall averaging at 15 inches. Winter temperatures average around 30C. Blizzards affect Washington around every 4 to 6 years. The worst storms to affect this area are Nor’easters which have high winds, heavy rain and occasional snow. Summers are normally very humid and hot with average daily temperatures averaging around 260C. The combination of high temperatures and high humidity bring frequent thunderstorms in summer which can in turn create tornados. As a result of Washington’s inland location many hurricanes in the area are often weakened by the time they get to Washington, although the majority of storms which have an affect on Maryland, affect this city. In August 1814 there was a tornado followed by a hurricane which hit Washington and as a result people died and there was significant damage to buildings. The highest ever recorded temperature here was in August 1918 when temperatures reached 410C and the lowest ever recorded temperatures was in February 1899 when temperatures dropped to -260C. There are on average 114 precipitation days per year.
Washington has a lot to offer from wonderful building relating to the Government and history of the USA, National Gallery of Art, the exotic plants and flowers at the Botanical Gardens or the creatures at the National Zoo, with something for the whole family. The culture of Washington is of historic sites of which there are 74 and museums to which there are up to 70. Also Washington DC is a national centre for the arts with numerous performing arts establishments such as National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera, Shakespeare Theatre Company and The Washington Ballet. If you like live jazz music then you might like to try the Bohemian Caverns or Madam’s Organ Blues Bar. If watching a game of sport is more for you then there are major professional teams in Washington, being: soccer, basketball, baseball, hockey and football. This city is a great place to enjoy the weather, attractions, culture or sports. You can look at the weather averages which provide a weather forecast to give you a good idea of when the best time to book your holiday would be.
In Summer in Washington you can expect temperatures to range from late 20’s to early 30’s. The humidity in this season can get quite uncomfortable with thunderstorms likely and sometimes tornados. Temperatures in this season are not likely to drop below lows of 170C. The sea tends to be the warmest in August. July does tend to receive the most rainfall. You can expect up to 9 hours of daily sunshine hours in this season. The hottest month is July with June being the coolest.
In Autumn temperatures start to decrease with September remaining in the mid 20’s but November dropping to 130C. In October and November the rain reduces and Washington is a lot less crowded. As temperatures are lower this is a good season to enjoy outdoor activities. The sea temperatures get cooler and cooler so this would not be a good season to try water sports. The hottest month in this season is September, the coolest is November and the wettest is September. The amount of daily sunshine hours decreases, down to 5 hours of sunshine in November.
In Winter there can be snowstorms. Snowfall normally measures around 5 inches and creates a lovely white winter scene. Temperatures in this season range from -20C to 70C so can get pretty cold. Sea temperatures drop to an average of 30C. Rain still falls with an average of 10 days of rain per month in this season. You can expect on average 5 hours of sunshine hours each month. The wettest and coldest month is normally January.
In Spring the weather is said to be the nicest of all seasons with temperatures slowly rising reaching highs in the mid 20’s in May. The temperatures only begin to really warm up in May. The coldest month in this season is March. The humidity in the air is low making this season more comfortable as temperatures rise. The flowers start to blossom giving the landscape a lovely outlook. Sea temperatures begin to warm again and rainfall continues, with April being the driest month. Daily sunshine hours begin to increase again making this season on whole a nice pleasant season to be in.