The southern half of New England houses a couple of states, including Massachusetts. Although the state is small, the topography is varied. In the western portion of the state, you’ll find mountains; in the east, on a thin peninsula, there’s Cape Cod. In the center of the state are the urban and suburban regions. Typically, the summers bring warmth to the state. In the winter, it’s quite the contrast, with temperatures dropping and snow appearing.
There is evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year, with freezing rain and snow during winter. Although this state is no stranger to heavy snowfall, some warm winters have occurred over the years. But how does this winter compare to Massachusetts’s warmest ever? Keep reading to find out.
The Warmest Winter Ever Recorded in Massachusetts’s History
In Massachusetts, weather records started in 1872. Since then, temperatures have risen throughout the meteorological winters (which span from December through February) of some years. The lowest average temperature during the winter season in Massachusetts was in the winter from December 1917 through February 1918.
At that time, the average temperature was 18 °F. In the winter of December 2014 through February 2014, the average temperature was much higher at 25.5 °F. The warmer temperatures haven’t shown up in a linear fashion, however. From December 1957 through February 1958 and December 2004 to February 2005, the average temperature was 27 °F. In 2011 – 2012, the average winter temperature was 33 °F, a far cry from 1917 – 1918. The warm temperatures this winter managed to tie the previous record, which was set in the winter of 2015 – 2016.
Seven years ago, the average temperature was 33.7 °F. This is exactly the same as the average temperatures recorded in winter 2022 – 2023. In the western portion of the state, temperatures were almost as warm as the state’s average, reaching 30.6 °F. It appears a trend has emerged that leads those at the Climate System Research Center to believe that (in about a decade or two) the typical winter temperatures will be above freezing. For climate scientists, the link to climate change is undeniable.
Average Highs and Lows This Year
Massachusettsans came to terms with their mild winter when they realized that although they experienced some cooler temperatures, by the end of January and into February, the meteorological winter was approaching its end. Although the entire state of Massachusetts tied for the warmest winter on record, there were other significant events throughout the state.
For example, the first week of February at the Westover Air Reserve Base had an average temperature six degrees higher than usual at 34 °F. Martha’s Vineyard experienced the third warmest winter on record, with an average temperature recorded at 39.1 °F. That’s only a slight downward deviation from the record-holding winter in 2011 – 2012, when the average temperature was recorded at 39.6 °F.
The winters in Boston, the state’s capital, are cold and snowy. The summers are warm, and the sky is usually partly cloudy throughout the year. Temperatures usually stay between 23 °F and 82 °F. It’s uncommon for temperatures to dip below 9 °F or rise above 91 °F. This winter, temperatures remained between 20 °F and 60 °F, mostly with the coldest days landing at the start of February. On February 3rd, the recorded low was -8 °F; on February 4th, it was even colder with a recorded low of -9.9 °F.
In Worcester, the second most populated city in the state, the weather gets cooler during the winter months. The winter season can be described as freezing and snowy, and the average temperatures range from 19 °F to 81 °F. Usually, temperatures don’t dip below 4 °F or get above 89 °F. This winter, temperatures remained between 10 °F and 60 °F, with the only anomaly coming that same early week of February, when temperatures plunged down to -13 °F on February 4th.
Animal Migration in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, spring migration begins in the early part of March and runs through summer until the early part of June. To spot songbirds, thrushes, sparrows, and warblers, head over to Mt. Auburn Cemetery, a popular spot clued-in birders flock to. Check out the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge for a view of waterfowl and raptors. You can’t go wrong with the Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary for bobolinks, blackbirds, and eastern meadowlarks. Seabirds, sea ducks, and songbirds can be spotted over at Scusset Beach State Reservation, and to check red-breasted nuthatches and blue-gray gnatcatchers off your list, stop by the Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary.
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