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Average Weather in Cape Charles Virginia, United States

In Cape Charles, the summers are warm and muggy, the winters are very cold and windy, and it is wet and partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 34°F to 86°F and is rarely below 23°F or above 92°F.

Based on the tourism score, the best times of year to visit Cape Charles for warm-weather activities are from mid May to mid June and from late August to mid October.

Climate Summary

coldcoolwarmhotwarmcoolcoldJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecNowNow65%65%50%50%clearovercastprecipitation: 4.2 inprecipitation: 4.2 in3.0 in3.0 inmuggy: 86%muggy: 86%0%0%drydrytourism score: 7.0tourism score: 7.00.70.7
Click on each chart for more information.

Temperature

The hot season lasts for 3.5 months, from June 2 to September 17, with an average daily high temperature above 78°F. The hottest day of the year is July 21, with an average high of 86°F and low of 74°F.

The cool season lasts for 3.2 months, from December 6 to March 12, with an average daily high temperature below 55°F. The coldest day of the year is January 29, with an average low of 34°F and high of 47°F.

Average High and Low Temperature

Average High and Low Temperature in Cape CharleshotcoolcoolJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0°F0°F10°F10°F20°F20°F30°F30°F40°F40°F50°F50°F60°F60°F70°F70°F80°F80°F90°F90°F100°F100°FJan 2947°FJan 2947°FJul 2186°FJul 2186°F34°F34°F74°F74°FJun 278°FJun 278°FSep 1778°FSep 1778°FDec 655°FDec 655°FMar 1255°FMar 1255°F64°F64°F67°F67°F42°F42°F40°F40°FNowNow
The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.

Average Hourly Temperature

Average Hourly Temperature in Cape CharlesJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM12 AM4 AM4 AM8 AM8 AM12 PM12 PM4 PM4 PM8 PM8 PM12 AM12 AMNowNowvery coldcoldcoldcoolcoolcomfortablewarmcoldvery coldvery cold
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Āstārā, Iran (6,147 miles away); Hiroshima, Japan (7,166 miles); and Yono, Japan (6,898 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Cape Charles (view comparison).

Clouds

In Cape Charles, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The clearer part of the year in Cape Charles begins around July 28 and lasts for 3.9 months, ending around November 24. On October 12, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 65% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 35% of the time.

The cloudier part of the year begins around November 24 and lasts for 8.1 months, ending around July 28. On December 24, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 50% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 50% of the time.

Cloud Cover Categories

Cloud Cover Categories in Cape CharlesclearercloudiercloudierJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%Oct 1265%Oct 1265%Dec 2450%Dec 2450%Jul 2857%Jul 2857%NowNowclearmostly clearpartly cloudymostly cloudyovercast
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds.

Precipitation

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Cape Charles varies throughout the year.

The wetter season lasts 3.2 months, from May 20 to August 26, with a greater than 32% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 43% on August 5.

The drier season lasts 8.8 months, from August 26 to May 20. The smallest chance of a wet day is 21% on October 20.

Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 43% on August 5.

Daily Chance of Precipitation

Daily Chance of Precipitation in Cape CharleswetdrydryJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%0%10%10%20%20%30%30%40%40%50%50%60%60%70%70%80%80%90%90%100%100%Aug 543%Aug 543%Oct 2021%Oct 2021%Jan 126%Jan 126%May 2032%May 2032%NowNowrainmixed
The percentage of days in which various types of precipitation are observed, excluding trace quantities: rain alone, snow alone, and mixed (both rain and snow fell in the same day).

Rainfall

To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Cape Charles experiences some seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.

Rain falls throughout the year in Cape Charles. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around August 11, with an average total accumulation of 4.2 inches.

The least rain falls around January 30, with an average total accumulation of 2.9 inches.

Average Monthly Rainfall

The average rainfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average liquid-equivalent snowfall.

Snowfall

The sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent quantity of snowfall in Cape Charles does not vary significantly over the course of the year, staying within 0.1 inches of 0.1 inches throughout.

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall in Cape CharlessnowJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 in0 in1 in1 in2 in2 in3 in3 in4 in4 inJan 300.2 inJan 300.2 inJul 220.0 inJul 220.0 inDec 280.1 inDec 280.1 inMar 30.1 inMar 30.1 in
The average liquid-equivalent snowfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average rainfall.

Sun

The length of the day in Cape Charles varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2021, the shortest day is December 21, with 9 hours, 36 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 20, with 14 hours, 44 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in Cape CharlesJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 hr24 hr4 hr20 hr8 hr16 hr12 hr12 hr16 hr8 hr20 hr4 hr24 hr0 hr12 hr, 7 minMar 2012 hr, 7 minMar 2014 hr, 44 minJun 2014 hr, 44 minJun 2012 hr, 8 minSep 2212 hr, 8 minSep 229 hr, 36 minDec 219 hr, 36 minDec 21nightnightdayNowNow
The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line). From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray), the color bands indicate: full daylight, twilight (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and full night.

The earliest sunrise is at 5:43 AM on June 13, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 51 minutes later at 7:34 AM on November 6. The earliest sunset is at 4:46 PM on December 6, and the latest sunset is 3 hours, 42 minutes later at 8:28 PM on June 27.

Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Cape Charles during 2021, starting in the spring on March 14, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 7.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in Cape CharlesJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM2 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AMJun 135:43 AMJun 135:43 AM8:28 PMJun 278:28 PMJun 27Dec 64:46 PMDec 64:46 PM7:34 AMNov 67:34 AMNov 6Mar 14DSTMar 14DSTDSTNov 7DSTNov 7daynightnightnightnightSolarMidnightSolarMidnightSolarNoonSunriseSunsetNowNow
The solar day over the course of the year 2021. From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray. The transitions to and from daylight saving time are indicated by the 'DST' labels.

Moon

The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for 2021. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases.

Moon Rise, Set & Phases

The time in which the moon is above the horizon (light blue area), with new moons (dark gray lines) and full moons (blue lines) indicated. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Humidity

We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.

Cape Charles experiences extreme seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.

The muggier period of the year lasts for 4.5 months, from May 22 to October 7, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 22% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is August 2, with muggy conditions 86% of the time.

The least muggy day of the year is January 28, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.

Humidity Comfort Levels

Humidity Comfort Levels in Cape CharlesmuggyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%0%10%10%20%20%30%30%40%40%50%50%60%60%70%70%80%80%90%90%100%100%Jan 280%Jan 280%86%Aug 286%Aug 2May 2222%May 2222%Oct 722%Oct 722%NowNowoppressiveoppressivedrydrycomfortablecomfortable
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point.

Wind

This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.

The average hourly wind speed in Cape Charles experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The windier part of the year lasts for 7.3 months, from September 29 to May 6, with average wind speeds of more than 11.1 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is January 18, with an average hourly wind speed of 13.3 miles per hour.

The calmer time of year lasts for 4.7 months, from May 6 to September 29. The calmest day of the year is July 25, with an average hourly wind speed of 8.9 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed

Average Wind Speed in Cape CharleswindywindyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 mph0 mph2 mph2 mph4 mph4 mph6 mph6 mph8 mph8 mph10 mph10 mph12 mph12 mph14 mph14 mph16 mph16 mph18 mph18 mph20 mph20 mphJan 1813.3 mphJan 1813.3 mphJul 258.9 mphJul 258.9 mphSep 2911.1 mphSep 2911.1 mphMay 611.1 mphMay 611.1 mphNowNow
The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

The predominant average hourly wind direction in Cape Charles varies throughout the year.

The wind is most often from the south for 4.9 months, from March 31 to August 29, with a peak percentage of 42% on July 29. The wind is most often from the east for 3.0 weeks, from August 29 to September 19, with a peak percentage of 32% on September 7. The wind is most often from the north for 6.4 months, from September 19 to March 31, with a peak percentage of 37% on January 1.

Wind Direction

Wind Direction in Cape CharlesNSENJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%NowNowwestsouthnortheast
northeastsouthwest
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions, excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1.0 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Water Temperature

Cape Charles is located near a large body of water (e.g., ocean, sea, or large lake). This section reports on the wide-area average surface temperature of that water.

The average water temperature experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The time of year with warmer water lasts for 3.6 months, from June 15 to October 2, with an average temperature above 71°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is August 3, with an average temperature of 78°F.

The time of year with cooler water lasts for 3.5 months, from December 20 to April 4, with an average temperature below 49°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is February 11, with an average temperature of 42°F.

Average Water Temperature

The daily average water temperature (purple line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Best Time of Year to Visit

To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Cape Charles throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.

The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best times of year to visit Cape Charles for general outdoor tourist activities are from mid May to mid June and from late August to mid October, with a peak score in the third week of September.

Tourism Score

Tourism Score in Cape Charlesbest timeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec002244668810107.07.00.70.76.36.35.15.1NowNowprecipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperature tourism score
The tourism score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Cape Charles for hot-weather activities is from mid June to mid September, with a peak score in the last week of August.

Beach/Pool Score

Beach/Pool Score in Cape Charlesbest timeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec002244668810106.66.60.00.0NowNowprecipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperature beach/pool score
The beach/pool score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

Methodology

For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.

Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.

Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.

Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.

Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.

Growing Season

Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).

The growing season in Cape Charles typically lasts for 8.7 months (265 days), from around March 14 to around December 4, rarely starting before February 22 or after April 2, and rarely ending before November 12 or after December 27.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in Cape Charlesgrowing seasonJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%50%Mar 1450%Mar 1450%Dec 450%Dec 490%Apr 290%Apr 290%Nov 1290%Nov 1210%Feb 2210%Feb 2210%Dec 2710%Dec 270%Jan 220%Jan 22Jul 23100%Jul 23100%NowNowvery coldcoldcomfortablewarmcool
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
The percentage of time spent in various temperature bands. The black line is the percentage chance that a given day is within the growing season.

Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.

Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Cape Charles should appear around March 3, only rarely appearing before February 10 or after March 27.

Growing Degree Days

Growing Degree Days in Cape CharlesJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0°F0°F500°F500°F1,000°F1,000°F1,500°F1,500°F2,000°F2,000°F2,500°F2,500°F3,000°F3,000°F3,500°F3,500°F4,000°F4,000°F4,500°F4,500°FMar 382°FMar 382°FMay 30900°FMay 30900°FJul 61,800°FJul 61,800°FDec 314,673°FDec 314,673°FNowNow
The average growing degree days accumulated over the course of the year, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Solar Energy

This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.

The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.9 months, from April 21 to August 17, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 6.0 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 23, with an average of 6.9 kWh.

The darker period of the year lasts for 3.0 months, from November 7 to February 9, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 3.1 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 24, with an average of 2.2 kWh.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in Cape CharlesbrightdarkdarkJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 kWh0 kWh1 kWh1 kWh2 kWh2 kWh3 kWh3 kWh4 kWh4 kWh5 kWh5 kWh6 kWh6 kWh7 kWh7 kWh8 kWh8 kWh9 kWh9 kWhJun 236.9 kWhJun 236.9 kWhDec 242.2 kWhDec 242.2 kWhApr 216.0 kWhApr 216.0 kWhAug 176.0 kWhAug 176.0 kWhFeb 93.1 kWhFeb 93.1 kWhNowNow
The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Topography

For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Cape Charles are 37.268 deg latitude, -76.017 deg longitude, and 3 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Cape Charles is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 16 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 3 feet. Within 10 miles is also essentially flat (56 feet). Within 50 miles is essentially flat (217 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Cape Charles is covered by water (52%), artificial surfaces (30%), and cropland (15%), within 10 miles by water (74%) and cropland (15%), and within 50 miles by water (64%) and trees (17%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather in Cape Charles, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.

Temperature and Dew Point

There are 3 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Cape Charles.

For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Cape Charles according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.

The estimated value at Cape Charles is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Cape Charles and a given station.

The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Langley Air Force Base (41%, 37 kilometers, southwest); Norfolk International Airport (32%, 43 kilometers, south); and Melfa / Accomack Airport (27%, 48 kilometers, northeast).

Other Data

All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.

All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.

Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .

Time zones for airports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .

Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.

Disclaimer

The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.

We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.

We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.