Located on the Potomac River between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, Washington is known for its hot, humid summers, pleasant springs andautumns, and mild winters with seasonal snowfall averaging just over 17 inches. Carved from south-central Maryland, Washington is bordered on three sides by that state and sits acrossthe Potomac River from Virginia on its fourth side. The District is also divided by the Anacostia River and Rock Creek. One fourth of the District is park land. The city isdivided artificially into four quadrants: northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest.
Area: 68.3 square miles (2000)
Elevation: Ranges from 40 to 410 feet above sea levelAverage Temperatures: January, 36.0° F; August, 77.0° F; annual average, 54.0° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 39.73 inches (including 17.3 inches of snow)
A mild,humid coastal climate is characteristic of Virginia. Temperatures, most equable in the Tidewater, become increasingly cooler with the rising altitudes as one moves westward. Thenormal daily mean temperature at Richmond is about 58°F (14°C), ranging from 36°F (2°C) in January to 78°F (26°C) in July. The record high, 110°F (43°C), was registered atBalcony Falls (near Glasgow) on 15 July 1954; the record low, –30°F (–34°C), was set at Mountain Lake on 22 January 1985. The frost-free growing season ranges from about 140 days inthe mountains of the extreme west to over 250 in the Norfolk area.
Annual precipitation at Richmond (1971–2000) averaged 43.9 in (111.5 cm); at Norfolk, annual precipitationaveraged 45.7 in (116 cm) during the same period. The average annual snowfall amounts to nearly 15 in (38 cm) at Richmond but only 8 in (20 cm) at Norfolk.