As 2020 came to an end, there was something that slipped under my RADAR: The year of 2020 was the warmest on record for Providence!
The Providence records (officially recorded at TF Green) show an average temperature at TF Green of 54.0 degrees Fahrenheit for the year of 2020. This beat out 2012, the previous record-holder, which had an average temperature of 53.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Here are the top 5 warmest years on record for Providence:
1st: 2020 with an average temperature of 54.0
2nd: 2012 with an average temperature of 53.8
3rd: 2010 with an average temperature of 53.7
4th: 2016 with an average temperature of 53.6
5th: 2006 with an average temperature of 53.5
Note how all of the top 5 warmest years have occurred since 2006, and the top 4 warmest years have occurred since 2010! This graph (courtesy http://scacis.rcc-acis.org/) shows an overall warming trend since the 1930s.
So how did we get here? It seems like a long time ago, but if you remember, Providence/TF Green Airport had the hottest summer on record! (PICTURE COURTESTY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE)
The above graphic shows that Providence had an average temperature of 74.4 degrees Fahrenheit; this beat out the 2nd warmest summer on record in 2010 which had an average temperature of 73.9 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition to having a scorching summer, there were some other warm months too. January was the 8th warmest January on record, February came in as 6th warmest, March finished at 8th on the list, and it was the 4th warmest November on record.
To some of you, the fact that 2020 was the warmest on record may have been a bit of surprise. This might be because memories are short, and the year ended with more typical December weather. Temperature wise, December ranked near the middle of the pack (although still above normal) with an average temperature of 35.9 degrees Fahrenheit. We also had that pretty big storm in December which helped add to a monthly snowfall total of 8.4”….that’s fairly close to normal for December snowfall. It’s amazing how a little cold and snow can wipe away memories of a very hot year.