Cold winter impacting water temperatures at the shore

WESTERLY, Rhode Island (WWLP) – The late spring sunshine might be warming the air along Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly, Rhode Island, but for the water it’s a different story.

Water temperatures along the Rhode Island shore are a chilly 54 degrees, just last week they were in the upper 40s, a bit warmer further off shore.

Deep water is less affected by temperature changes than shallow water. So our colder than normal winter and cool start to spring is keeping the water that you step in right by the shore 3-5 degrees cooler than normal.

The cool waters are keeping many beach-goers out of the water. “My feet touched when I was over there and it was freezing and I jumped out,” said Morgan Parrette from Griswold, CT.

“It’s freezing, I walked in and it made my feet numb,” said Katrina Beals also from Griswold, CT.

Water temperatures are normally near 60 degrees by now, and can reach the 70s at their peak in the summertime. While chilly now, shallow waters also warm faster than the deep ocean, as will the waters along Long Island Sound.

However, for some, the cold water now is a little easier to take after our even colder winter. “It’s a little cold, but it’s refreshing because after a long cold winter it’s nice to jump in,” said Daniel Ross from Thompson, CT.

Tourism is big business in Westerly, Rhode Island. They’re hoping thoughts of our long and cold winter drive people to come dig their feet in the sand this summer.

“I’m hoping that cabin fever sets in and that people come and flock to Misquamicut,” said Lisa Konicki from the Greater Westerly and Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce.

Even if, for now, it’s just to lay by the water and not dive in it.

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