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Climate & Environment
 
 
 

Washington has a humid subtropical climate, typical of Mid-Atlantic US areas removed from bodies of water, with four distinct seasons. Spring and fall are mild, with low humidity, while winter brings sustained cool temperatures and annual snowfall averaging 16.6 inches (420 mm). Average winter lows tend to be in the mid 20s (-5 to -2 °C) from mid-December to mid-February. Additionally, Arctic air can lower night time lows into the teens, even in the city. Summers tend to be hot and humid, with daily high temperatures in July and August averaging in the high 80s to low 90s °F (about 30 to 33 °C). The combination of heat and humidity in the summer brings very frequent thunderstorms, some of which occasionally produce tornadoes in the area. The average annual rainfall is 39.3 inches (1,000 mm).

While hurricanes (or their remnants) occasionally track through the area in late summer and early fall, they have often weakened by the time they reach Washington, partly due to the city's inland location. Flooding of the Potomac River, however, caused by a combination of high tide, storm surge, and runoff, has been known to cause extensive property damage in Georgetown as well as in nearby Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.

The highest recorded temperature was 106 °F (41 °C) on July 20, 1930 and August 6, 1918, while the lowest recorded temperature was -15 °F (-26.1 °C) on February 11, 1899, during the Great Blizzard of 1899. The city averages 36.7 days hotter than 90 °F (32 °C), and only 64.4 nights below freezing.

 

 
 


 



 


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