Washington DC Snowfall Totals & Accumulation Averages
This page pulls together information on when, how much and how often Washington DC has snow.
There are data and descriptions here of how many days it snows and the total amount of snowfall that Washington usually gets. There are also monthly and yearly counts of the days that the nation's capital city normally has heavy snowstorms and deep snow accumulated on the ground. Plus there's information on when Washington can expect the first and last snowfalls of the season.
The first set of monthly snow totals are averages for 2010 to 2019. All the other numbers are long-term historical averages based on weather data gathered from 1991 to 2020 at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.
How Often it Snows in Washington
The next two tables list monthly and yearly totals for amount of snow and how many days it snows at least 0.1 inches (0.25 centimetres).
These averages don't show how much the snowfall in Washington varies from year to year.
In December, for instance, one in four years totals over two inches of snow. Another 25 percent of years receive no snow for the month.
Similarly in January, fresh snowfall in the heaviest years amounts to over 6.3 inches, while the lightest years get less than 1.3 inches.
New snow for February ranges from over 5.6 inches in heavy snowfall years to under one-quarter of an inch in light years.
When Washington Has Its First & Last Snowfalls
The first snowfall of winter for Washington usually arrives in December, although one in four Decembers sees no snow. In rare years, November does get snow.
The snow season ends most often in March. Less commonly, Washington's last snowfall occurs as early as February.
Washington is normally free of snow every year from April to October.
How Many Snowstorms Washington DC Gets
About half the days with snowfall in Washington leave just a skiff, amounting to less than an inch, of fresh snow on the ground. For four days a year on average, the amount of new snow totals at least an inch.
Snowstorms of over five inches a day don't happen every year. But major blizzards that dump ten inches or more in one day are even rarer events that occur about once a decade.
How Much Snow Normally Accumulates in Washington
Snow mostly accumulates in Washington during January and February. Typically, on two or three days a winter, the snow covering Washington gets to five or more inches deep.
Jay Lawrimore, Ron Ray, Scott Applequist, Bryant Korzeniewski, Matthew Menne. 2016. Global Summary of the Month and Year, Version 1.0. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Climate Normals.