Climate Crisis

Data Reveals 2021 Second-Hottest October on the Record for Rhode Island and Massachusetts

Ocean State experienced highest temperature rise in New England


Rhode Island is leading the way when it comes to rising temperatures. (istock)

During October 2021, the average U.S. temperature was 57 degrees Fahrenheit, which was 2.9 degrees above the 20th-century average. It was sixth-warmest October in the 127-year record.

Recently released data from the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) showed temperatures above average from the Midwest through New England. Temperatures were below average on the West Coast.

Across New England, October 2021 average temperatures ranked the second warmest on record. (Roger Warburton/NCEI data)

Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine each saw their second-warmest October since 1894.

The temperature rise for Rhode Island was 2.4 degrees, which was the highest of all the New England states. While this is not a category in which the Ocean State should celebrate being No. 1, the state’s higher-than-average October temperatures meant residential energy demand was 13 percent less than average demand. It was the state’s fourth-lowest October energy demand in the 127-year record.

However, fall and winter declines in energy bills will be more than made up for by increases in cooling bills because of higher summer temperatures.

Roger Warburton, Ph.D., is a Newport, R.I., resident. He can be reached at [email protected].

Notes:NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), State of the Climate: National Climate Report for October 2021, published online November 2021, retrieved on Jan. 25, 2022 from


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