It’s 70 in February!

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Sunset in Newport Photo by: Abigail DesVergnes

By: Abigail DesVergnes

Area schools typically call this week away from school Winter Break. But with Southern New England awash in sunshine and temperatures in the 60s, students somehow leapfrogged from Christmas and Hanukkah to early Spring Break.

“How did we get this weather in the middle of February?” an incredulous Brooklyn Palermo of Attleboro wondered Thursday. “How did we get so lucky?”

Palermo, 18, spent the day on her grandparents Attleboro farm off Pleasant Street, where she cared for their three horses, could enjoy the fresh air – and the farm actually smelled like a farm.

With the temperature climbing to a phenomenal 67 degrees in Attleboro on Thursday, she relished the outdoor work.

“Perhaps I’d feel differently if it was freezing cold temperatures, but with the sun shining, I’m practically removing the layers and strutting about like it’s spring,” Palermo said.

With early February snowbanks close to melted, Palermo and her cousins took the horses out for trail rides – something she hasn’t been able to do in months.

Palermo said the trail was “absolutely beautiful.”

The week has been a slice of bliss in the midst of what ordinarily is the cruelest of months.

Look up February in the dictionary, and you’ll find it’s Latin for “frightfully depressing.”

Not really, but that’s what the dictionary should say.

Kacie Rodas of Attleboro spent Thursday soaking up rays and inhaling salt-scented air at the beach.

She spread a blanket on Newport’s Second Beach, splayed her toes in the toasty sand and admired the surfers.

“We’ve been in hibernation for such a while now,” said Rodas, 17. “Now it’s time that we all come out and enjoy this beautiful world.”

Driving home from the beach, Rodas made sure to roll down the car windows.

Brian MacDonald of Attleboro was happy just to get out of the house.

MacDonald, 16, and several friends met up at the Hyman Fine Elementary School basketball courts to play a pick-up game – something he hasn’t done since last fall.

“It’s great to finally be able to do something outside, and get out of the house,” he said. “This warm weather is putting me in a great mood.

“I was getting really bored staying inside.”