How Often Does the Sun Shine in Washington, DC?
The average annual sunshine level in the nation's capital city of Washington DC is 56%. That means that Washington DC receives 56% of all its possible sunshine on a yearly basis. Clouds cover the nation's capital and block the sun's rays the rest of the time.
Looking over the yearly rainfall data for Washington DC, the city receives a remarkably even amount of precipitation each month. Overall, the city of Washington DC gets an average of 39.35" of rain (and snow converted to rain) per year. The lowest monthly average is February with 2.63", while the highest monthly average is May with 3.82".
Not a lot of variation in the monthly rainfall data. I have been to Washington DC dozens of times, and during each different season and can say firsthand that the sun is a bit less likely to shine in the winter as it is in the summer. In the summer months most of the rain comes from thundershowers and it is not unusual to have some sun before the showers come. In general, the summer months are sunnier than the winter months, and fall is a bit sunnier than spring.
The White House is located in the Foggy Bottom area of Washington DC, and the name is sometimes used as a nickname for the White House. That part of the capital is prone to fog which blocks the sun. Usually the morning fog is burned off by the sun as the day progresses.
How Does Washington DC Compare to Nearby Cities?
The two nearest cities to Washington DC are Richmond, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland. The nation's capital receives less yearly sunshine than either of those two cities. In fact, Washington DC gets a bit less sunshine than most of the major cities along the East Coast of the United States.
Average Annual Sunshine Levels East Coast Cities
Baltimore, Maryland - 57%
Richmond, Virginia - 63%
New York City, New York - 58%
Boston, Massachusetts - 58%
Raleigh, North Carolina - 58%
Other United States Cities with 56% Annual Sunshine Levels
All the cities in the United States listed below have the same annual sunshine levels as Washington, DC does. That does not mean they have the same type of climates, but they all receive the same annual average sunshine levels of 56%.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
For more see Tallest Buildings and Structures in Washington, DC