Washington’s weather is known for being hot and humid in the summer. But does it snow in Washington? The answer is: YES. Heavy snowfalls shut down Washington DC and transform its National Mall, monuments, and other landmarks like the Whitehouse into winterland. Snowfalls in Washington create a surprisingly large amount of havoc for the area’s learning institutions -- many schools are closed. Most of the snowfalls in Washington come in January and February.
Major factors determining Washington’s snowfalls include the continental air masses of North America, the large semi-permanent low pressure and high-pressure systems of the North Pacific Ocean, and the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. Most mountains in Washington attract more snowfall than almost anywhere globally.
The historical average snowfall stands at about 5 inches, but that doesn’t tell the whole story because the region is prone to big storms. The record holder so far dates to 1922, when the Knickerbocker storm dumped about 28 inches! Recent storms in 2009, 2010, and 2016 dumped over 16 inches.
December and February show the greatest snow losses, each shrinking approximately 0.8 inches. While January and February are Washington's snowiest months, February still has a slight edge because it has fewer days.
Major blizzards don’t stop Washington’s visitors and residents from donning their snow gear and taking it to the streets to play. Even with a few inches of snow, you can have fun ice skating, sledding, making snowmen, snow tubing, sipping hot cocoa and strolling through the memorials and monuments, a trip to the Kennedy Center, or even past the White House.