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This post is an overview of the DC weather in January, with tips on how to dress and things to do to help make the most of your trip.
The month of January is the coldest month of the year in the nation’s capital with morning low temperatures mostly in the mid to upper 20s F (-2 to -3C) with afternoon highs in the low to mid-40s F (6 to 7C).
On the coldest mornings expect morning lows can dip down into the mid-teens (about -8C).
About 1 in 10 days will see lows at or just below zero F (-18C). On the other hand, a few of the warmer afternoons can reach up into the upper 50sf (14-15C).
Generally, you can expect about 14 days of sunny or at least partly sunny conditions with about 16 days being mostly cloudy.
Precipitation normally falls on 9-10 days this month with significant precipitation of 0.5 inches (13mm) or more falling only on 2-3 days.
About 3 days this month will see measurable snow and about 1 or 2 of these will record snowfall amounts of 1 inch (about 2.5 cm) or more.
Snowfalls of 3 inches (about 7.6 cm) or higher occur about once every other year.
Be sure to read our post on what to wear and pack in DC for advice all year round on DC weather and how to prepare for it.
Most days will require winter clothing, though there will be some days when you’re going to want a lighter jacket.
We’ve made a list below of our recommendations to pack for DC in January:
1. Heavy Jacket or Coat
For the occasional snow days, you’re going to want something like this nice wool peacoat from Nautica. It’s heavy enough for walking the monuments outside but stylish enough to go straight to dinner at a nice place.
2. Lighter Jacket
During some of the warmer days, you may just need a medium weight coat like these from Columbia, which is waterproof and comes in great colors.
3. Comfortable Walking Shoes
A compact travel umbrella is easy to pack and will come in handy for wet days.
With so many great museums, you’ll have plenty of time inside but even the monuments and memorials almost all have visitor centers and bookstores to warm up in and there are a few refreshments stands along the way that serves coffee and hot chocolate.
Below are 10 top things to do in DC in January.
Be sure to read our full post on what to do in DC in January, which includes free things to do, night and family-friendly activities and attractions, as well as our definitive post on the best things to do in DC.
And if you are planning on visiting many of DC’s top attractions, then you should consider a tourist discount pass as you could save up to 50% of retail ticket prices to tours, attractions, and restaurants.
Be sure to check out all the top things to do in January in our main post.