Climate of Cumberland, Rhode Island

Cumberland, Rhode Island

Cumberland, Rhode Island, is a town located in the northern part of the state, in Providence County. Nestled between the cities of Providence and Pawtucket, Cumberland is known for its suburban character, historical sites, and access to outdoor amenities. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the weather and climate of Cumberland, it’s essential to explore its seasonal variations, precipitation patterns, temperature ranges, and the influence of its geographical location.

Geography and Location:

According to Citiesplustowns, Cumberland is situated in the Blackstone Valley, a historic and picturesque region with a mix of urban and rural landscapes. The town is located near the Massachusetts border and is part of the greater Providence metropolitan area. Its proximity to the Blackstone River, historical mills, and green spaces contributes to the town’s appeal.

Climate Classification:

Cumberland falls under the classification of a humid continental climate. This climate type is characterized by four distinct seasons, with warm to hot summers, cold winters, and noticeable temperature variations between seasons. The town’s location in the northeastern United States contributes to its seasonal weather patterns.


  1. Winter:

Winters in Cumberland, from December to February, are cold and can bring significant snowfall. Average daytime temperatures range from the 20s to 30s°F (around -6 to -1°C). The town may experience occasional winter storms, leading to snow accumulation and frosty conditions.

  1. Spring:

Spring in Cumberland, from March to May, marks a transition from the colder winter months to the warmer temperatures of summer. Average temperatures gradually increase, with highs ranging from the 40s to 60s°F (around 4–21°C) in March to the 60s and 70s°F (15–26°C) in May. Spring is characterized by the blossoming of trees and flowers.

  1. Summer:

Cumberland’s summers, from June to August, are warm to hot and can be humid. Average daytime temperatures often range from the 70s to 80s°F (21–32°C), with occasional highs reaching into the 90s°F (32–37°C). Summer is a popular time for outdoor activities and events.

  1. Autumn:

Fall in Cumberland, spanning from September to November, sees a gradual cooling of temperatures and the changing of foliage. Average highs range from the 60s and 70s°F (15–26°C) in September to the 40s and 50s°F (around 4–15°C) in November. Fall foliage becomes a prominent feature, attracting residents and visitors to enjoy the vibrant colors of the changing leaves.


Cumberland receives a moderate amount of precipitation throughout the year, with an average annual rainfall of about 47 inches (1194 mm). Precipitation is relatively evenly distributed across the seasons, with slightly higher amounts during the late spring and early summer months. Winter brings snowfall, and the town may experience occasional snow cover during colder periods.

Influence of Blackstone River:

The presence of the Blackstone River, which flows through the Blackstone Valley, can influence Cumberland’s local weather patterns. While rivers themselves do not significantly impact temperature, they can contribute to humidity levels and occasionally influence local microclimates. The river may also play a role in the town’s recreational opportunities and green spaces.


Cumberland may exhibit microclimates within its boundaries due to variations in elevation, local topography, and urban development. Areas with different elevations or proximity to water bodies, such as the Blackstone River, may experience slightly different temperature and humidity levels compared to other parts of the town. These microclimatic variations contribute to the diversity of experiences within Cumberland.

Urban Heat Island Effect:

The urban areas within Cumberland, particularly around commercial centers and densely populated neighborhoods, may experience the urban heat island effect. Urban heat islands occur when buildings and pavement absorb and retain heat, leading to higher temperatures compared to surrounding rural areas. However, this effect is generally less pronounced than in larger urban areas.

Outdoor Recreation and Parks:

Cumberland, with its access to the Blackstone River and green spaces, offers residents and visitors numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation. Local parks, such as Diamond Hill State Park, provide areas for hiking, picnicking, and enjoying nature. The town’s commitment to preserving natural spaces contributes to the overall quality of life.

Historical Significance:

Cumberland’s historical significance, particularly in relation to the Blackstone River and its role in the Industrial Revolution, adds a unique dimension to the town’s character. Historical sites and landmarks, such as the Old Slater Mill, provide a glimpse into Cumberland’s past and contribute to the town’s cultural heritage.

Climate Change Considerations:

Cumberland, like many communities worldwide, faces considerations related to climate change. Changes in temperature, precipitation patterns, and the potential for more extreme weather events are areas of concern. The town may be engaged in climate resilience planning, focusing on sustainable practices, green infrastructure, and community initiatives to address these challenges.


Cumberland, Rhode Island, experiences a humid continental climate characterized by its four distinct seasons and the influence of the Blackstone River. With a mix of suburban landscapes, historical significance, and a climate that embraces both winter snowfall and warm summer days, residents and visitors can enjoy a diverse range of experiences throughout the year. The town’s commitment to preserving natural spaces, its historical heritage, and its role in the Blackstone Valley contribute to the overall appeal of Cumberland. As the town continues to evolve, climate considerations will likely play a crucial role in shaping sustainable practices and ensuring the well-being of its residents.

Cumberland, Rhode Island