The nearby Atlantic Ocean generally affects the city of Wilmington’s climate yearly. The ocean gives Wilmington a more mild climate than most surrounding areas at the same latitude. But because Wilmington has a humid subtropical climate, the city experiences winters that are not terribly cold and summers that can be hot at times. The precipitation is abundant yearly, largely because of the Gulf of Mexico that pushes its moisture northward toward the city and from the Atlantic Ocean.

Wilmington’s winters are quite cool. Average January temperatures hover around 32 degrees (F). There is some rather more chilly air blasts that target Wilmington occasionally during the winter. Much of those cold air blasts come from Canada, which oozes from the country’s grand subarctic lands. Because of that, temperatures readings of below zero (F) have been sparingly recorded at Wilmington since the city’s official record keeping began at Wilmington’s New Castle Airport in 1894. Precipitation is moderate, and the normal amount of that is 3.47 inches for January. Days of measurable snowfall is enough to give Wilmington an average of a total of 15.6 inches for the winter season. Sometimes low pressure systems scoot along the eastern seaboard of the United States, delivering Wilmington large snowfall amounts.

In the spring, temperatures gradually begin to warm up, ranging from 60 to 70 degrees (F) in April. Thunderstorms with severe hail can happen in and around Wilmington, especially during late April and in May. The warmer weather also gives way to more sunshine, allowing often pleasant conditions for residents and visitors to enjoy during the season.

Summers are characterized to be warm and sticky, thanks to two large ocean masses: the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Temperatures often rise into the 90s (F) in Wilmington, and possibly even the triple-digit readings of 100 degrees (F) or slightly more. Nights are usually uncomfortable because of high dew point readings. Average temperatures in July is nearly 77 degrees (F) for Wilmington. But sometimes cooler weather from Canada brings temporary relief for the city. As for precipitation, the normal amount is 4.28 inches in July. Severe weather with destructive winds and hail is not uncommon in the summer.

Autumn is perhaps the most pleasant time of year in Wilmington. Temperatures, like those throughout much of spring, top into the 60s and 70s (F) in September and October before cooling down into the 50s (F) in November. Rainfall amounts are still moderately heavy, average about 3.50 inches from September to November.

Wilmington sees its share of variety in weather patterns, even though it’s not very far away from the Atlantic Ocean. The nearby beaches are ideal for enjoyment in the late spring and throughout the summer. Springtime is beautiful for budding trees and flowers in such comfortable temperatures. But keep in mind that Wilmington, as it experiences four distinct seasons, also sees changes in weather year-round.


Rand McNally – “The Road Atlas ’05”

National Weather Service Climate – www.weather.gov/climate/xmacis.php?wfo=phi and www.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=phi