At the geographical coordinates 17° 30 and 19° 56 latitude north and 68° 19 and 72° 31 longitude west, the Dominican Republic is considered to be located in the tropical region of the world. It has an uneven relief, as approximately 50% of its territory is occupied by five sierras and 3 large mountain ranges, in which the highest altitudes of the Antilles can be found (Pico Duarte, 3,187 msnm). The remaining surface of the national territory is composed of four large valleys; the largest is the Valle del Cibao. All of these systems run northwest to southeast, influencing the direction of the trade winds, which in turn affects the distribution of rain, giving the country diverse and contrasting microclimates.
In the Dominican Republic, nine ecological zones and seven transition formations have been identified. Wet subtropical forest is the climate that covers the most area and is found dispersed throughout the national territory. The country is also divided into 20 geomorphological regions and eight subregions.
Did you know? The Dominican Republic, due to its geographical position, boasts a tropical climate influenced by various geographical factors, like orography and the influence of the trade winds, in addition to the atmospheric phenomena that affect it year-round.
The variation in temperature behavior in the Dominican Republic is intimately associated with two basic factors: geographical location and the mountainous systems that exist throughout the country. The Dominican Republic has a median annual temperature of 25° C (77° F), which is defined as a hot tropical climate. The highest temperatures, around 34° C (93° F), are usually reached in the months from June to August, while the lowest, 19° C (66° F), arrive in the months between December and February.
Did you know? Two low temperature zones coincide with the highest section of the Cordillera Central and a third low temperature center stretches from the Cordillera Septentrional to the Atlantic coast in the Río Yásica basin.
In the Dominican Republic, there are three rainy seasons: the Temporada Frontal (November – April), the Temporada Convectiva (May – July) and the Temporada Ciclónica (August – October).
High precipitation zones are highly influenced by trade winds carrying humidity over the Atlantic, which arrive to the country from the Northeast, producing the so-called lluvias orográficas (orographic rains). This phenomenon occurs first in the Cordillera Septentrional and the Sierra de Yamasá and later in the Cordillera Central. Annual rainfall in these areas fluctuates between 1,800 and 2,500 mm, with exceptions in the karstic zone of Los Haitises, where more than 3,000 mm per year has been recorded.
The same relationship, inversed, explains rainfall in the areas of least precipitation, which are fragile, prone to drought and desertification. Such is the case in the Northwest regions, with a precipitation between 600 and 900 mm and the Southwest region, whose precipitation oscillates between 400 and 700 mm.
To access daily information and current climatic prognoses, we invite you to visit the Oficina Nacional de Meteorología (ONAMET): http://www.onamet.gov.do/ or to call its telephone numbers: 809-788-1122 and from the interior without charge: 1-809-200-8585. ONAMET offers service 24 hours/ seven days a week.
Did you know? You can get the current report here: http://www.onamet.gov.do/?param=pronostico-general
Other references of interest:
Organización Meteorológica Mundial
Centro de Meteorología de CNN
Centro Nacional de Huracanes de Estados Unidos
Centro Nacional de Huracanes de Estados Unidos (en español)
Hurricane and cyclone season begins June 1 and concludes November 31. According to the Oficina Nacional de Meteorología (ONAMET), the critical period is between August 15 and September 15.
In the last hundred years, the country has been affected by the following hurricanes, some of which have caused great damage throughout national territory:
Did you know? Hurricanes San Zenón (1930) and David (1979) were category 5.
Did you know? After a calmer cycle of 23 years, according to researchers, cyclonic activity shifted in 1995 to a hyperactive period that could last two or three decades.
Did you know? Cyclones are given female and male names, in alphabetical order, alternating by season and year. If a season begins with a feminine name, the next will begin with a masculine. In addition, six name lists in the three official languages of the region (Spanish, English and French), 21 names in each, have been collected, as the most active season to this point was in 1933, with 21 named tropical cyclones.
The Saffir-Simpson potential disaster scale classifies hurricanes in five categories according to the sustained surface velocity of their winds and the above-normal swells produced. It is aimed at understanding the probable damage that a hurricane would generate if it hit a coastal area without a change in its destructive power.
Hurricanes are designated “intense” from Category 3 and above.
|Category||Central Pressure (Milibars)||(Km/h)||Winds (Mph)||Storm Surge (Feet)|
When hurricane season begins:
When hurricane or storm warnings are made:
During the storm or hurricane:
After the hurricane or storm:
ONAMET: www.onamet.gob.do | 809-788-1122 and from within the country without fees: 1-809-200-8585. Services are available 24 hours a day.
National emergency telephone : 911
Other useful recommendations: http://www.cdc.gov/spanish/especialescdc/huracanes/
Twitter feed is not available at the moment.