Richmond has a subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers and mild winters. The mountains to the west act as a partial barrier to the worst of the cold continental air in winter, while the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean contribute to the humid summers and mild winters. Late May heralds the start of warm summer days, and the peak summer months between June and August can be quite hot and humid, with temperatures ranging between 65°F (18°C) and 100°F (38°C).
Some relief from the summer heat is provided by rain showers, with July the wettest month of the year. Days stay warm to mild through to October, when autumn is marked by colder nights. December and January are the coldest winter months, with temperatures falling to between 28°F (-2°C) and 51°F (11°C). Light snowfalls occur from the end of November, but most snow falls in January.