DC weather in 2022 right on par with average, despite extremes

High water levels are seen at Fletcher's Boathouse along the C&O Canal in Washington in September.(WTOP/Chad Merrill)

Now that the year is wrapping up, Washington, D.C., has seen it all — ranking in the top 10 with snow and rain at various points during the year combined with record cold and heat on occasion. Believe it or not, after these extremes are crunched, it almost “zeroes” out.


The winter of 2021-22 got off to a start with 12.3 inches of accumulation, almost three times the average January snow and making it the ninth snowiest January on record in D.C. This came after starting out with a high temperature just three degrees off the record high of 69 degrees for New Year’s Day.


The pattern flipped yet again during winter’s third month. Only a trace of snow was recorded, which was the second least snowy February on record. The month was topped off with a record high on Feb. 23 of 77 degrees.


The warm weather propelled forward through March. A record high for March 7 was established when Reagan National hit 80 degrees. Meanwhile, the final spring freeze of the season was March 29 and the final skiff or trace of snow fell on March 30.


After a warmer than average past two months, April was cooler than average by 1.2 degrees. Severe weather came dangerously close to the DMV area on April 26, when a rash of severe storms slammed the Richmond area. No other significant weather was noted in April.


While temperatures were literally right on par with average (67.8 degrees), it was a very wet month. It was the tenth wettest May with 6.36 inches of rain. The rain came with a price tag with a widespread severe weather outbreak along I-66 on May 16. Trees came down on the George Washington Parkway. Another severe weather outbreak hit the DMV just six days later and again on May 27. The month ended with a high of 96 degrees, three degrees off the record high of 99 degrees, set in 1991.


Similar to May, the temperature was dead on with the 30-year average of 67.2 degrees. This came after a record high of 99 degrees on June 17. Just three days later, on June 20, the morning low of 58 degrees was only one degree warmer than the record low for the date.

High water levels are seen at Fletcher’s Boathouse along the C&O Canal in Washington in September.


It’s as if Mother Nature had muscle memory for the third straight month in a row. While it may have seemed like a warm, humid month, it was once again right on par with average. However, it came with a price as it was the sixth wettest July on record with 7.61 inches of rain. Flash flooding occurred on several occasions with stalled fronts.


Only nine days into the month, Washington hit another daily record high on Aug. 9 of 97 degrees. Otherwise, the month shaped up to be warmer and drier than average.


The final rash of severe weather for the year hit Sept. 12 when storms brought down trees in Culpeper and Fauquier counties. While the month was appreciably dry, the temperature was right on par with the 30-year average of 72.4 degrees.


The month was uneventful with below-average temperatures. For the third straight month in a row, rainfall fell short of average. Washington escaped the wrath of a tropical system.


For the fourth consecutive month, rainfall fell short of average in Washington. While drought never developed, the Washington metro and surrounding suburbs came one tick away from moderate drought on Nov. 8. Winter’s chill started to hit on Nov. 21 with a low temperature just one degree warmer than the record low of 25 degrees.


The weather was off to a quiet start and then a Siberian Express slapped D.C. in the face just before Christmas. Gusty, damaging winds hit the metro when the front passed through Dec. 23 and the temperature dropped more than 40 degrees to make Christmas Eve the coldest on record in Washington. It was the coldest Christmas Eve afternoon with a high of 22 degrees and the average for the day hit a record low of 15.5 degrees; all of this happened with no snow.

Yearly Summary:

The average temperature in 2022 was 59.6 degrees, which makes this year right on par with the 30-year annual average at Reagan National of 59.3 degrees. The year has ended with precipitation 1.7 inches above average.

Chad Merrill

Chad Merrill is a meteorologist and digital weather content producer for WTOP. Prior to joining WTOP, Chad was a meteorologist in the private industry and television. He loves to share his passion with listeners and readers and is eager to hear from anyone who has any weather questions!

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up