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Bermuda basks in unseasonably hot weather

Bermuda has basked this month in an “unseasonably warm” February.

Crops have made an early start, loquats are ripening ahead of season and lawns are in bloom — in part because of warm seas, according to the Bermuda Weather Service.

Farmer Tom Wadson said the heat was affecting “everything” in his fields. He said: “Guys who got their plants in earlier are going to do great. But never underestimate March, when we can get the strong winds.”

The Southampton farmer added: “An older Bermudian guy pointed out to me a few weeks ago that early loquats means a very early spring.”

According to traditional Bermudian folk wisdom, an early spring was thought to signify more hurricanes this year, Mr Wadson said.

The BWS said ocean temperatures were running 1 to 1.5 degrees above average at a time when the average temperature was usually 68F to 69F (20C).

The spokeswoman said: “While no daily heat records have been broken, the long-duration warmth is certainly of note.”

She pointed out that February 2017 had also brought “a stretch of days around this time where daytime highs were also in the low 70s”.

Last year's warmth could cause “recency bias”, she said, meaning people might be inclined to evaluate the weather according to recent events.

However, night-time lows this year also stayed warm.

“Usually, the minimum temperature averages 59F (15C), and we've consistently had lows in the low to mid-60s, and since February 8, night-time lows have ranged from 64 to 68F (15.8 to 20C).”

The warmest February day on record was February 12, 1980, which climbed to 80.6F (27C).

Monday, with a daytime high of 73F (22.8C) was the highest this month, with February 8 having the warmest overnight low at 68.4F (20.2C).

John Barbosa, 79, gardening on a private estate in Devonshire. Recent high temperatures have given an early boost to crops (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published February 14, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated February 14, 2018 at 7:18 am)

Bermuda basks in unseasonably hot weather

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