Mt Vernon Trail in the Fall

Fall Foliage on the Mt. Vernon Trail near Memorial Bridge image via National Park Service

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If you’ve always wanted to experience the classic four seasons in your new city, you’ll get what you ask for with the weather in Alexandria, VA. Weather professionals in the Washington, DC, metro area certainly earn their salaries as they prepare forecasts that include everything from blizzards and flooding to extreme humidity, not to mention the typical rainy and sunny days.  


In general, anticipate short autumns and springs and, depending on who you ask, long summers and winters. Each season has a signature feature or two that residents hope and prepare for.

Fall in Alexandria

The fall season has a lot of fans in Alexandria. Picture the quintessential autumn landscape: fiery red, orange, and yellow leaves, brisk evening temps, and chilly sunshine-filled days. Unfortunately, autumn in all of its glory doesn’t last long because summer temperatures linger into mid-September, and winter temperatures start by the end of November.

Peak leaf peeping is short and generally in late October, making it difficult to plan for all the weekly festivals and outdoor activities that pack event itineraries. For those considering homes with yards, remember that Alexandria is an established city (actually two— the City of Alexandria and Alexandria, Fairfax County) with abundant mature and big trees. If raking and/or paying someone for leaf removal isn’t your idea of a good time, an apartment, condo, or townhouse with landscaping included is probably your best bet.

Alexandria VA autumn average high and low temperatures:

  • September 81/61
  • October 68/49
  • November 58/39

alexandria va home in winter

Photo from

Winter in Alexandria

A very popular question newcomers ask is, "Does it snow in Alexandria?" Yes. Sometimes. Love it or hate it, you’ll probably deal with some type of winter weather (sleet, ice) in Alexandria for a couple of weeks throughout the winter and spring. Alexandria tends to sit within the dreaded “DC Snow Hole” and often misses big events, but it's still a good idea to have a sled in the shed for the three- to five-inch storms that are most typical. 


For more information on what it's like to move to Alexandria, read Alexandria Guide for Newcomers.


The city is located at a fascinating point on the map as far as the weather is concerned. From North to South, the DC area tends to be the point where storms give out, and the city misses the biggest effects. From East to West, the Shenandoah Mountains play with eastward-moving weather systems and tend to break up big dumps of snow.


Of course, there are occasional blizzards every five years or so. But some winters see very little snow at all. Snow appears from late November to late March, with the majority typically hitting in February and March with a total average of 15 inches.


Alexandria VA winter high and low temperatures:

  • December 48/32
  • January 43/27
  • February 46/28

Spring in Alexandria

Relaxing in DC via Flickr user m01299

Spring in Alexandria

Spring rivals fall for the prettiest time of year, thanks to the abundance of the area’s signature cherry tree blossoms. Expect to see two things during spring: an increase in tourists and the clamoring of parents trying to find photographers who will shoot "Cherry Blossom Sessions" for the year’s family photo and Christmas cards.


Spring starts the wettest season lasting until late August, averaging about 40 inches per year. Two weather features begin to pick up during late May: the wind and humidity.


Alexandria VA spring high and low temperatures:

  • March 56/36
  • April 68/46
  • May 76/55
Alexandria VA marina

Alexandria Marina via Flickr user Ron Cogswell

Summer in Alexandria


Heat, humidity, and intense storms dominate the summer forecast. Those coming in from South Carolina or Texas will wonder what the fuss is about. For the others who come from California or further north, you will suffocate for a while until you get used to the persistent humidity morning, noon, and night. Don’t forget that Alexandria sits on the Potomac River, adding extra moisture to the air.  


Fast but strong afternoon storms are responsible for wind and flooding advisories throughout the summer months. Alexandria is low-lying near a river and is basically built entirely on swamp land. Residents do their best to combat water damage in basements with sump pumps. Don’t be fooled by the looks of these average summer temperatures. Highs in the 90s are becoming standard, and only when they reach 95 and higher are they described as extreme.


Alexandria VA summer high and low temperatures:

  • June 85/65
  • July 88/69
  • August 87/68

cherry blossoms tidal basin washington monument in washington dc


Cherry blossoms near Washington monument. Photo from

More to Know About Alexandria Weather

  • Best Place’s weather ranking for Alexandria is 7.3 out of 10. 
  • Alexandria’s weather has been trending hotter and wetter for the last five years.
  • Alexandria doesn’t take direct hits from Atlantic Ocean hurricanes but receives secondary effects, such as intense winds, flooding, and pounding rain.
  • School kids in Alexandria are lucky. They’ll see a good number of days off or school delays due to difficult-to-forecast situations like ice and mixed precipitation.
  • Four distinct seasons mean that residents need all the gear: rain boots and jackets, heavy winter coats, snow boots, gloves, scarves, hats, and a shovel or two.
One of the best things about Alexandria's weather is the general idea of unpredictability. It’s not strange to have a 70-degree day in December. It’s also not very unusual to get a rainy 65-degree summer day now and then.
And, when any one season gets too long for you, hold on. You’ll begin to catch glimpses of the next one ahead, and that, too, will be over before you know it!
By Dawn M. Smith