Rhode Island is the smallest state in the US. But don’t let its size fool you. Water lovers will enjoy its 400 miles of pristine coastline, countless bays and inlets, and some of the best beaches on the East Coast. Charming seaside towns, awesome cities, famous seafood, and much more, make “Little Rhodt” an awesome place to live. So, what is the weather like in Rhode Island?
A lot of people think that weather and climate are interchangeable. However, though they are related, each has a different meaning. Climate refers to weather conditions over long periods of time, while weather describes the atmospheric conditions on a day-to-day basis. It’s important to look into both weather and climate when moving to a new area, so you know what to expect.
Rhode Island Seasons
The climate in Rhode Island is a humid continental climate, heavily influenced by its location on the Atlantic Ocean. It lies far enough north that the weather in Rhode Island is normally mild to cold throughout the year. Here’s what kind of weather you should expect from season to season in Rhode Island:
Winter in Rhode Island
Winters in Rhode Island are very cold and wet, with average winter temperatures averaging 40°F between December and February. Snow is likely in winter, even along the coast. The most snow is likely to fall between mid-January and mid-February. Winters are between December and February.
Spring in Rhode Island
High humidity and cool temperatures combine to make spring in Rhode Island feel moderately cold. Spring is the wettest season in Rhode Island. Precipitation in Rhode Island is moderate, although early spring tends to bring torrential rainfall. The moody spring weather can quickly change from sunny to rainy to snow flurries. Spring goes from March to May.
Summer in Rhode Island
Summers are relatively short and humid, but the warm, comfortable weather is perfect for trips to the beaches and the water. Summers are drier than spring, with only 2 to 3 days of precipitation per month. Summer runs from June to August. This is a great time to visit Roger Williams Park Zoo.
Autumn in Rhode Island
In Autumn, the nights are chilly, and the days are cool. Although Vermont and New Hampshire are known more for their autumn leaves, you can find spectacular forests and tree-lined streets in Rhode Island where autumn puts on a dazzling display of vibrant colors. Fall can get windy, and you might even see snow in November. Autumn lasts from September to November.
Monthly Weather in Rhode Island
Want to know what the weather in Rhode Island by month is like? Let’s find out!
January is by far the coldest month of the year in Rhode Island, with temperatures during the day below freezing on many occasions. The high temperatures during the day average a cold 34°F to 40°F, and the nightly low temperatures are in the frigid 17°F to 25°F range. Short days receive only a few hours of mild sunlight. January brings 8 to 14 inches of snow.
February is cold and snowy as Rhode Island battles icy winter conditions. Providence, the capital, averages temperatures between 24°F to 40°F. Temperatures often drop below freezing during the day, as occasional blizzards sweep through Rhode Island. Snowfall ranges between 7 and 12 inches, which causes hazardous driving conditions. The sun shines about half the month, while the rest sees overcast skies and 60% to 80% cloud cover.
March is cold in Rhode Island during the early spring, known for cloudy skies and numerous wet periods. The average temperatures in Rhode Island during March range from 46°F to 49°F. At night, temperatures are normally below freezing, averaging 31°F to 46°F in some parts of the state. Wear your rain jacket because the precipitation in March ranges from 4 to 6 inches. Strong winds are common as well. Snowfall is sporadic and accumulates from 4 to 12 inches.
Rhode Island is wet and warm in April. An occasional cold front only lasts for a short time. During April, the days get warmer and sunnier. The average temperatures are between 36°F and 60°F. Cold nights occasionally dip below freezing. The last snow disappears by mid-April, giving way to a green landscape and budding flowers. April sees 10 to 12 days of rain, totaling 4 to 5 inches.
The peak of the spring season is May, bringing warm sunshine and bright days. The ocean water temperatures are pleasant and inviting. Warm days range between 63°F and 70°F, while nights are usually a mild 45°F to 50°F. Rainfall is prevalent in the afternoons, and precipitation is about 5 inches for the month. So make sure to grab your umbrella.
June ushers in Rhode Island’s marvelous summer season. The days are long and sunny. Daylight increases rapidly, casting aside any remnants of the remaining cold. The average high temperatures are 73°F to 78°F, and the average low temperatures are 55°F to 58°F, making June weather beautiful and comfortable. June receives 3 to 4 inches of rainfall, mainly from thunderstorms. The ocean waters are pleasantly warm during the long days of summer, and the beaches are humid in the mornings and breezy in the evenings.
July is the hottest month of the year in Rhode Island. Daylight lasts over 15 hours, and sunset isn’t until 9 p.m. The Rhode Island beaches are full, and the sun is bright. Whale watching season is in full swing, and the cruise ship season is at its peak. The warm, average temperatures are 61°F to 83°F, although it can reach 90°F on the coast and 100°F in the northern interior. July brings 8 to 10 sunny days, with only 3 inches of rainfall. Shorts and sunglasses are a must. Misquamicut State Beach is busy and a great place to visit.
August closes the summer season in Rhode Island with warm to hot conditions. Days are long, and humidity is high in the coastal region. Daytime high temperatures range from 78°F to 82°F. At night, the temps are comfortable in the 59°F to 64°F range. The skies are partly cloudy in August, with 7 to 8 sunny days.
September sees the arrival of the beautiful fall season in Rhode Island. Temperatures are mild. The colorful changing leaves can be seen everywhere, especially in the forested regions. The temperatures are in the mild 52°F to warm 75°F range.
In October, the foliage colors are at their peak. Brilliant shades of red, orange, yellow, and gold blanket the landscape. It’s breezy, and the sun breaks through the cloud cover every now and then. The average high temperatures are 60°F to 65°F. The lows are cold, from 41°F to 48°F. Precipitation is 3 to 5 inches. Don’t forget your windbreaker.
November in Rhode Island brings cold weather. The daylight decreases rapidly as the sunshine remains moderate at best. The average temperatures are 41°F to 55°F, and rainfall increases slightly. Precipitation ranges from 4 to 5 inches. Late November brings snow. It’s sweater weather!
December is cold with gloomy skies and moderate precipitation at 3 to 5 inches. Icy conditions make the roads slippery. Snowfall is moderate at 7 to 13 inches. The average high temperatures are 39°F to 45°F. The average lows are 25°F to 30°F. Frequent cold fronts keep the temperatures below freezing for days at a time, with piercing, high winds.
Annual Climate Statistics for Rhode Island
- Rainy days in Rhode Island: 123.7 days per year
- Annual rainfall in Rhode Island: 49.8” of precipitation annually
- Snowy days in Rhode Island: 15.2 days a year
- Annual snowfall in Rhode Island: 35.1” per year
Rhode Island Weather Hazards
Rhode Island’s biggest weather threat comes from hurricanes and tropical storms, which can cause extensive damage and lead to coastal surges, and flooding. Since 1930, the sea levels in Rhode Island have risen 8 to 10 inches and could rise another foot in the next 25 years, accelerating the risk from coastal flooding. Other, less common threats include tornadoes, earthquakes, droughts, and wildfires.
Rhode Island Weather Extremes
- Coldest month in Rhode Island: January is the coldest month in Rhode Island, with average highs of 37.1°F, and average lows of 18.9°F
- Warmest month in Rhode Island: The hottest month in Rhode Island is July, with average highs temperature of 81.5°F
- Rainiest month in Rhode Island: March is the rainiest month in Rhode Island, with 5.1” of rain falling over 11.1 rainy days
- Snowiest month in Rhode Island: January is Rhode Island’s snowiest month, when the city receives 9.9” of snow over 4.9 days
- Driest month in Rhode Island: February and July are the driest months in Rhode Island, when 3.6” of rainfall over 9 rainy days
- Rhode Island record high temperature: 104°F
- Rhode Island record low temperature: -13°F
Best time to visit Rhode Island
The best time to visit Rhode Island is between June and August and from September to November. In Summer, the beaches, comfortable temperatures, and a full event calendar make Rhode Island difficult to resist. Autumn is another great time to visit with the gorgeous fall foliage decorating the trees throughout the state.
If you’re looking into Rhode Island’s climate because you’re moving there, make sure you’re working with the best moving company in Rhode Island! Correira Brothers will give you the best service in Little Rhody. Call us today at 508-434-6683 to get started on your free quote!