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Temperatures and rainfall in Rhode Island


Rhode Island has a humid continental climate, but the extremes of winter cold and summer heat usually associated with this type of climate are moderated in Rhode Island by the Atlantic Ocean and Narragansett Bay. At Warwick, near the center of the state, the January mean temperature is -2° C (28° F) and the July mean is 27° C (73° F). Along the northern state line, the January mean temperature is about 1° C (about 2° F) colder than in Warwick in January. Along the ocean coast, the January mean temperature is -1° C (30° F). Warm season temperatures are also influenced by the ocean and bay, so temperatures are usually cooler along the coast than in the interior. The difference tends to be greatest in spring and early summer.

Climatic map of Rhode Island


Climate of Rhode Island
Climate of Rhode Island

Winter temperatures in Rhode Island are usually above -7° C (20° F), but temperatures colder by about 10° C (about 20° F) have been recorded in all locations of the state. Days with temperatures in the mid-30°s C (lower 90°s F) are infrequent.

Rhode Island has a relatively wet climate, with precipitation rather evenly distributed throughout the year. Average annual precipitation for Providence and vicinity is 1,160 mm (46 in). Amounts are slightly less in the southeast and slightly greater in the northwest.

Annual snowfall averages 890 mm (35 in), but actual totals in any given year can vary widely. Because of the moderating effects of the bay and ocean, snowfall is generally much less in the southern part of the state than in the interior. In the summer months there are occasional thunderstorms, which tend to be of limited severity. Hail is infrequent. Hurricanes occur with a frequency of about every 10 to 15 years. The most severe hurricane of the 20th century occurred in 1938, resulting in 262 deaths and extensive property damage. High winds often accompany winter storms The growing season, or period from the last killing frost in spring to the first killing frost in fall, is 190 days long in the low-lying eastern and southwestern sections and from 140 to 180 days long over the remainder of the state. The first killing frost in fall generally occurs in the first three weeks of October, and the last spring frost near the end of April. "Rhode Island" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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