The capital city of the USA is rich in history. The summers are hot and humid with regular thunderstorms, but winters are much colder with the chance of snow.
Washington weather averages and climate
When is the best time to visit Washington?
Those looking to enjoy the warm Washington weather should visit in the summer months, where the continental climate produces high temperatures. Rainfall is at its highest in the summer months and remains a possibility throughout the year. Visitors should also be aware that, though not as severe as further west, there is some risk of severe thunderstorm and tornadoes. The winter months are much colder, though they do offer visitors the opportunity to experience the charm of Washington in the snow.
Spring in Washington starts with a mild March, with average daily highs of 13.2°C. Rainfall is likely in spring, and averages 93mm in May. Temperatures increase throughout the season, and by May average daily maximums reach a warm yet comfortable 23.9°C. Daily sunshine hours increase as Washington approaches summer, with May bringing 8 hours of sunshine per day.
Washington summer months tend to be hot and humid. July sees the hottest temperatures, with average daily highs of a scorching 31.5°C, and August remains warm with an average high of 30.8°C. Along with the temperature, rainfall also increases in the summer months thanks to some torrential downpours and thunderstorms. August is the wettest month with an average of 99mm. Bright days can be expected in summer, as daily sunshine hours are at their highest in June and July, seeing an average of 9 sunshine hours per day.
Autumn in Washington brings cooler temperatures than summer, but the city remains warm. October sees average daily maximums of a pleasant 20.1°C. In November, this falls to 14.3°C. Rainfall remains a possibility in autumn, with October bringing an average of 77mm. By November, daily sunshine hours have decreased to 5 hours per day.
Winter in Washington brings colder temperatures, with January bringing the coldest weather, seeing daily highs averaging 6.4°C. December and February are, on average, slightly warmer, though remain chilly. Snow is also a possibility, which winter visitors to Washington should be aware of. January sees snow the most frequently, with snow falling on average 3.8 days in the month. Temperatures can get very cold overnight with hard frosts.
Washington tourist information
Martin Luther Kings famous speech paved the way for radical changes in the African American community. The Lincoln Memorial itself is a 30 metre tall tribute to the former president of the United States, looking out onto the reflecting pool in front. Opposite the presidential statue, beyond the pool is the Washington Monument. Standing 555 feet tall, it is the tallest structure in the district.
One of the city's largest events is the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, running over March and April for three weeks. This celebrates the gift of 3000 cherry trees to DC in 1912 from the mayor of Tokyo. Performances, food and music are city wide and it is one of the city's biggest celebrations.
The city has the supreme authority of the Congress guiding major decisions. A mayor, through local election, along with a council of 13 members have governed the District since 1973, but Local laws may still be overturned by the Congress.
In July of 1790, Congress passed the Residency Act, therefore creating the national capital on the Potomac River. This bill was signed into a law on July 16th by President George Washington after land was donated by Maryland and Virginia. The borders of the capital were surveyed between 1791 and 1792, with boundary stones being placed every 100 metres. Many of these stones still stand today, giving an insight into the historical layout to the city.
1814 saw a notable historical event for Washington DC, the Burning of Washington. British forces invaded the capital as part of the War of 1812 - spanning 32 months, between the United States and the UK. The Capitol, Treasury and White House were seriously damaged in these attacks, some being gutted out and had to be reconstructed.