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How is the Weather in Washington, DC in May?

Updated: February 5, 2024

This post is about the weather in Washington, DC during the month of May, including tips on how to dress and what to do.

The weather is generally warm with lots of sunshine and a great time to take a walking tour


Spring is in full force in DC during May so it is a great time of year to explore the Nation's Capital.

Early in May, you can expect morning low temperatures to be in the low to mid-50s F (10-12 C) with afternoon highs warming into the low to mid-70s F (22-23 C).

A few of the cooler mornings this time of the month can still dip down to 45 F (about 7 C) or lower.

Average DC Temperatures in May

By the end of this month, however, the morning low temperatures will have warmed to the low to mid-60s F (16-17 C).

Afternoons will reach highs in the low 80s F (about 27 C) with a few days reaching the upper 80s F (31 C) or higher.

This is a great time to take one of our free walking tours.

During past Mays, temperatures have ranged as low as 34 F (1.1 C) to as high as 99 F (37.2 C). 


About 17 days typically have either clear or at least partly sunny skies during May with about 10 days recording some measurable rainfall.

How much Sun in May in DC

About 3 of the rainy days record rainfalls of 1/2 inch (13 mm) or more with thunderstorms reported on about 1/3 of the days with rain.

Seasonal Outlook - April to June 2024 Washington, DC

There is a 77% chance for normal to above-normal temperatures with near-normal precipitation.


Be sure to read out post on What to Wear and Pack in DC for advice all year round on DC weather and how to prepare for it.

Early May mornings and cooler afternoons will require a sweater, light jacket, or windbreaker while summer clothes work well for the warmer days this month.

What to Wear in DC in May

Remember that on hotter days, indoor attractions often have their air conditioning on, so a sweater might be needed for museums even if it is warm and sunny outside.

Be sure to bring good walking shoes, because while you are in DC, May is the perfect time to join DC by Foot on one of our great walking tours.


Below are 10 top things to do in DC in May.

Be sure to read our full post on what to do in DC in May.

It 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.

  1. Take a Sightseeing Tour
  2. Passport DC
  3. Memorial Day in DC
  4. Visit Arlington National Cemetery
  5. Catch a Washington Nationals Baseball Game!
  6. Explore DC at Night
  7. DC Funk Parade
  8. Learn about the Lincoln Assassination on a Night Tour
  9. Spend a Day in Georgetown
  10. Experience Rolling Thunder

Be sure to check out all the top things to do in May in our main post.

About The Author

Fred Pickhardt

Fred is a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade. He has extensive experience in weather analysis, weather forecasting, and forensic weather event reconstructions. Fred founded Ocean Weather Services and currently provides forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.
Updated: February 5th, 2024
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