If you’re looking to travel or invest here it is important to know the climate and natural disasters in the Dominican Republic. The DR experiences a warm tropical climate all year round. With small changes between regions and seasons, it’s safe to say the Dominican Republic experiences more changes in the seasons for fruits than for weather.
The hottest temperatures in the country are felt during the months of July and August. Since the Dominican Republic is located in the northern hemisphere, it experiences the same seasons as North America. Meaning that the winter months are from December to March, and the summer months are from June to September.
Climate in Different Regions May Vary
Though very little, the climate does vary between regions within the country. For example, in the high altitude mountain areas of the country, such as Constanza and Jarabacoa average temperatures can be between 53°F to 78°F. Dominican Republic is home to the highest peak in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, where temperatures are rarely below 49°F or above 82°F. Here are stats on temperatures in Pico Duarte.
In the eastern part of the country, popular resort towns like Punta Cana experience an average high temperature of 84°F and average lows of 70°F, quite similar to the rest of the country, however these areas are significantly dryer and with less vegetation the air feels hotter.
While rainfall can be expected all year, the most happens during hurricane season in the Dominican Republic. On average, the country sees the most rain between the months of May to November. The rainy season typically occurs during the summer months. However, the country encounters two different rainy seasons. The first one occurs from April and May and the second rainy season in September – November.
It’s important to note that in the North Coast of DR it will rain “cats and dogs” as they say and the next moment the sun is shining and a huge rainbow is across the sky. Some might describe our rainy months as bipolar because you see sunny skies, a grey cloud forms, the rain pours, and back to sunny and hot day all before 12 pm.
Haiti and Earthquakes
The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. Notably, the Dominican Republic is larger than its neighbor Haiti and occupies approximately two-thirds of the island. With so much more land on the Dominican side of the island, one naturally asks why Haiti has experienced much more devastating earthquakes than the DR.
Firstly it’s important to explain that earthquakes are caused by the moving of tectonic plates that make up the earth’s crust. The North American plate and Caribbean plate both cut across the island of Hispaniola. However, Haiti’s most densely populated areas sit right at the fault line of where these two plates meet, causing for more damage than if this area was rural or wild. Not to mention the buildings and infrastructure in this area is built to withstand hurricanes, but not earthquakes.
Its location in the middle of the Caribbean makes the Dominican Republic susceptible to severe storms and hurricanes. Especially during the months of June and November. For the most part, the country experiences some flooding during hurricane season. However, Dominican Republic has some natural defenses to hurricanes which is why the last time a hurricane directly reached the DR was in 1998, when a category three storm pounded the island.
2 Natural Defenses the Dominican Republic has Against Hurricanes
While we don’t want to try our luck, there are 2 natural defenses the Dominican Republic has against hurricanes. The first is the Mona Passage, a straight that sits between Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, connecting the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. This waterway has strong currents that tend to push storms either north or south away from the Dominican Republic.
The second natural defense against hurricanes is Mount Pico Duarte, the highest point in the Caribbean. If a hurricane were to make landfall, the high altitude of our mountains weaken a storm since they need heat and moisture to keep moving. In other words, if a hurricane reaches the south of DR at a category 3, it will quickly weaken to a Category 1 or a Tropical Storm before reaching the North of the country. According to the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, the depletion of moisture and heat hurts the tropical storms ability to produce thunderstorms near the storms center.
Overall with its Caribbean tropical climate, the Dominican Republic is a great place to be all year round. The Dominican Republic is famous worldwide for its incredible beaches lined with more than 50 types of palm trees. The country, with its tropical climate, is the perfect place for a vacation, a destination wedding, a honeymoon, spring break, or to make the island your second home.