What is the Weather like in Washington, DC during December?

This post is about the weather in DC in December, as well as what to wear and suggestions on things to do this month.


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Daytime high temperatures early in December tend to be mostly in the lower-50s F(11-12 C) with a few of the warmer days can reach up 64 F (about 18 C) or more.  Overnight low temperatures at this time are mostly in the mid-30s F (1-3 C).

As the month progresses, the afternoon high temperatures generally fall to the mid-40s F (6-7 C) while the early morning lows tend to be in the  upper-20s F to lower-30s F (-3 C to -1 C).


How cold is it in DC in December?


About 16 days this month will see minimum temperatures dipping to 32 F (0 C) or less with a couple of the colder days dipping into the lower-20s F (about -6 C).  In the past, DC has seen temperature extremes during December as high as 79 F (26.1 C) to a low as +1 F (-17.2 C).

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About 17 days this month will see sunny or at least partly sunny skies over DC with some form of precipitation falling on 9 or 10 days. Significant precipitation amounts of 0.5 inches (13mm) or more, however, usually occur on only 2 or 3 days.

 Snow does occur this month but measurable snow falls, on average, occur on only 1 or 2 days with snowfalls of 1 inch (2.5cm) or more occurring on one day every year or two and snows of 3 inches (7.6 CM) or more falling only about once every 5 years.

Does it Snow in DC in December

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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.

It is best to dress in layers so bring a couple of sweaters and at least one medium-weight jacket or coat for early in the month. However, as  Christmas approaches, heavier winter clothing, including a heavy coat or jacket, warm hat and gloves and boots will likely be needed by mid-month.


What to wear in DC in December


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

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


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  1. See the National Christmas Tree
  2. Christmas at Mount Vernon
  3. Go Ice Skating
  4. Visit Hillwood Estate and Gardens
  5. Shop the Downtown Holiday Market
  6. Attend Zoolights
  7. Explore Georgetown GLOW!
  8. See the ICE! Show at National Harbor
  9. Visit the United States Botanical Gardens
  10. Go to the National Cathedral

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

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Fred Pickhardt
Ocean Weather Services

About the author

Canden is a historian and tour guide in Washington DC with 3 published books about the city. She has written for HuffPost Travel and has been featured in the Washington Post, WTOP, and numerous other DC papers. She's also been interviewed by the Travel Channel and Discovery Family Channel. Canden is the host of our podcast, Tour Guide Tell All

With a M.A. in History from University College London and a B.A. in History from Elon University, she is an authority on D.C. history, and has led tours in the city for over 10 years. She currently resides in DC, but has also lived in London and South Korea, and has travelled to 25 countries. Her two children (both under the age of 3) have their passports and own frequent flier accounts.

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.

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