A Washington Winter Wonderland

WASHINGTON DC, United States — Heavy snow shuts down Washington DC, but it also transforms the National Mall, its monuments, and other Washington landmarks like the White House into a winter wonderland.

White House in the Snow
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Washington’s weather is best known for being hot and humid in summer, but the region also gets a good dose of each of the other three seasons. It doesn’t get anything like the regular snow of places further north, but it can still get some big dumps of snow. Most of it typically comes in January and February, although it’s naturally variable with outliers.

The historical average in even the snowiest months is still under 6 inches, but that doesn’t tell the whole story, because the area can be prone to some big storms. The record holder so far goes all the way back to 1922, with the Knickerbocker storm dumping 28 inches. More recently storms in 2016, 2010, 2009, and 2003 have all dumped over 16 inches.

And while even small amounts of snow can create a surprisingly large amount of havoc for the area’s legions of commuters and it forces many schools to close–and even sometimes the federal government–it also transforms the National Mall, its monuments, and other Washington landmarks like the White House into a winter wonderland.

Here’s a sampling of some of the photos I’ve taken in DC during various snowstorms, including the Snowmageddon (2010) and Snowzilla (2016) storms and the much smaller but still significant Snurlough (2019) storm.

Photos of Washington DC in the Snow

Korean War Veterans Memorial Washington DC in the Snow
Korean War Veterans Memorial. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
World War One Memorial in the Snow
DC World War I Memorial (pre-renovation). Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Lafayette Park and the White House in Snow
Lafayette Square and the White House. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Washington DC Street at night in snowstorm
15th Street NW. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Tourists out in front of the White House with snow in the evening
Pennsylvania Avenue. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Arlington National Cemetery in the snow with fall foliage
Arlington National Cemetery. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Cherry Blossom Lantern in the Snow
Japanese Lantern at the Tidal Basin. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Washington DC in the Snow
Constitution Gardens. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Snowman next to the Potomac with the Arlington Memorial Bridge in the Background - Potomac River Frozen Over - January 26, 2016
The Potomac. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Park bench next to the Tidal Basin with Snow - Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - January 26, 2016
The Tidal Basin. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Arlington National Cemetery Tomb of the Unknowns Guard
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Snow on the Cherry Trees in Washington DC
The Tidal Basin. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
National Mall in the snow (Photo)
Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Poll to the left, with the JFK Hockey Fields to the right. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Washington Monument in the Snow
Washington Monument. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
National World War Two Memorial in the Snow
National World War II Memorial. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
White House in the snow (Photo)
White House. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Statue of President Andrew Jackson
Lafayette Square. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
White House Christmas tree at night
White House Christmas Tree. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
White House with snow in the evening
White House. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Old Canal Keeper's House on the National Mall in the Snow
The Lockkeeper’s House (pre-renovation). Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Snow in Constitution Gardens Washington DC
Constitution Gardens. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
US Treasury Building with snow and Christmas decorations
US Treasury Building. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
White House with snow in the evening
The White House. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Washington Monument with floodlights in a snowstorm at night
The Washington Monument. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Washington Monument in the Snow
The Washington Monument. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
World War Two Memorial in the Snow
National World War II Memorial. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Washington DC in the Snow
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Korean War Veterans Memorial Washington DC in the Snow
Korean War Veterans Memorial. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Washington DC in the Snow
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel

More Photos

I have more high-resolution photos of Washington DC in the snow.

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David Coleman / Photographer

David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my gear reviews and tips here. More »