Feb. 2018 was the warmest February on record in RI

Local News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — February is marching into the record books, and many Rhode Islanders don’t seem to mind at all.

“It’s very nice, very nice weather,” Lookmoa Azeez of Pawtucket said Wednesday.

Azeez was one of dozens of people out walking, jogging and biking down Blackstone Boulevard in Providence with temperatures in the upper 50’s under deep blue skies.

Nancy Riffle of Providence said she thinks it’s wonderful, and it’s “good to get out and feel like it’s spring.”

Spring arrives on Thursday… sort of. March 1 marks the beginning of meteorological spring, which runs through the month of May. Meteorologists separate the seasons this way for statistical reasons because the astronomical seasons can vary from year-to-year.

This meteorological winter was warmer than normal but it wasn’t a record breaker. The average temperature from Dec. 1 through Feb. 27 was 33.2°, making it the 23rd warmest meteorological winter on record for Providence.

The record-breaking warmth occurred during the month of February. Feb. 2018 was the warmest February on record for Providence, by far. It was almost 2° warmer than the next warmest February, which was back in 1981. Weather records for Providence have been kept since 1904.

What may be even more impressive is that this February was warmer than 77% of all the Marches in Rhode Island’s recorded history.

Most of the warmth came during the last two weeks of the month. The Bermuda High, a weather pattern that commonly controls our weather in the summer, brought persistent blasts of warm air into New England.

Carrie Drake of Providence said it’s hard to believe how nice it’s been recently.

“We’ve had so much rain instead of snow, and everyone’s out walking on the beautiful boulevard,” she said.

It has definitely been a rainy month. February was the sixth wettest on record for Providence with 5.45 inches of rain.

Rivers remain swollen across Southern New England from the month’s rain. Sky Drone 12 snapped this picture of the Pawtuxet in Coventry Wednesday afternoon. The waterfall was raging in the Arkwright section of town near the Interlaken Mill Bridge.

Snow-wise, we finished the month with 5.7″ of snow, which is nearly 3 inches below average.

March is coming in like a lion. The Pinpoint Weather Team is expecting a wind and rain storm on Friday, possibly with some coastal flooding in Rhode Island.

As we close out the month and look to the storm in our future, Drake said, “we have to take advantage of every beautiful day.” We may have more beautiful days in March because according to the Climate Prediction Center, March has a high probability of having above normal temperatures.

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