DC Weather: August Can Be Hazy, Hot, and Humid

By Mandie Vasquez, Host Committee Member

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Men with weather balloon on roof of the U.S. Weather Bureau Building in Washington, DC Library of Congress

Congress has traditionally taken their recess in August because of the oppressive heat and humidity the month brings. While July is the hottest month in Washington, August is not far behind. According to the Weather Chanel, the average high temperature in the city for the month of August is 87 °F degrees and the average low is 70 °F. The record high for the month is 106 °F. The local meteorologists describe DC’s weather at hazy, hot, and humid.

Back in May, NBC4 Meteorologist Doug Kammerer predicted that this summer would be particularly warm, observing that 2018 had similar weather patterns compared to 2012, which was brutally hot. He explained that the DC area averages 36 days at or above 90 °F per year, but 2012 saw 53 days at or above 90 °F and 8 days at or above100 °F. Time will tell if this summer will be a record breaking heatwave, but so far this summer has been hot.

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August 2017 predictions NBC4 Washington

“I didn’t realize I needed an umbrella today!”

The midday heat and humidity frequently give way to afternoon thunderstorms. A bright and sunny August day can dramatically change when dark storm clouds quickly approach. These ominous storm clouds travel from the west to the east. Many times these storms pass through quickly, and occasionally they can be violent and produce tornadoes. The DC area averages 2.93 inches of rain in August. While visiting DC you are more likely to experience a quick, but heavy, rain fall, than a washout, rainy day. An umbrella is still recommended.

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Late afternoon storm preparations NBC4 Washington


Bring a sweater

A savvy traveler always dresses in layers. Be prepared to be warm while walking around. Another good piece of advice for summertime in Washington, DC: be prepared and carry a sweater. To combat the heat and humidity, restaurants, offices, and hotel conference centers blast their air conditioning. The contrast between the blazing heat from the summer sun and the frigid temperatures of the air conditioning can be a shock to the system, especially if you were caught in an afternoon storm. If you are prone to being cold, pack that awesome archivist’s cardigan!

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