What is the Weather in DC (And How to Prepare for It)
If you’re planning a visit, you’re likely wondering about the weather in DC. What to wear outdoors? What to pack? With so many great things to do in the great outdoors – such as our name your own price walking tours – you need to make sure you’re prepared for whatever the weather may bring. Use this guide to make sure you know what the average day is like whenever you’re vacationing in DC.
Since most of our tours are outside, we monitor the weather closely and have come to rely on some key sources of information for planning and getting up to date information.
Capital Weather Gang – this Washington Post group has excellent forecasting, but is great at social media so you’re getting updated and often live information. We highly suggest following them on Twitter or subscribing to their forecasts during your trip.
The weather in DC can be unpredictable but there are some common trends throughout the year. The summer in DC is humid – meaning the air can be heavy and feel hotter. February is usually the coldest month but there can be conversational snow in November or April. It doesn’t often snow in large amounts, though even the smallest amount can shut the city down. (Fear not, there is usually at least one museum that can still open. Check out our what to do indoors post for ideas). Thunderstorms are common in summer, and it rains often in Spring but DC rain storms come in waves. The downpour may be heavy but it doesn’t last long and you can usually wait it out under cover until it passes.
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.