This page presents Dominican Republic's climate context for the current climatology, 1991-2020, derived from observed, historical data. Information should be used to build a strong understanding of current climate conditions in order to appreciate future climate scenarios and projected change. You can visualize data for the current climatology through spatial variation, the seasonal cycle, or as a time series. Analysis is available for both annual and seasonal data. Data presentation defaults to national-scale aggregation, however sub-national data aggregations can be accessed by clicking within a country, on a sub-national unit. Other historical climatologies can be selected from the Time Period dropdown list.
The DR enjoys a tropical climate with the typical year-round warm and humid conditions associated with the Tropics. Seasonal mean temperatures range from 20‐25˚C in the winter months (December to February), to 25‐27˚C in the warmer months of June to August and September to November. The wet season occurs between May and November, during which most regions receive at least 100‐200 mm per month. Inter‐annual variability in the Caribbean climate is influenced strongly by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). As such, El Niño episodes bring warmer and drier than average conditions between June and August and La Niña episodes bring colder and wetter conditions during this period. The Dominican Republic lies in the heart of the Atlantic hurricane belt, where cyclones and hurricanes occur throughout August, September, and October. The occurrence of hurricanes is strongly linked with ENSO, with more frequent hurricane activity associated with La Niña events, and less frequent events in El Niño years.
Due to its geographical position and island status, the country is highly vulnerable to meteorological phenomena such as hurricanes and tropical storms; exposing the territory to dangerous hazards and considerable economic and social hardship. As of 2017, the DR was ranked the 11th most vulnerable country in the world to climate change, with floods being the most common climate-related hazard. Heavy rainfall associated with cyclones and hurricanes contribute significantly to wet season rainfall totals. Cyclone and hurricane landfall frequencies occur, on average, every two years, but can occur as often as two per year or as little as every five to ten years. The northeastern region of the country is vulnerable to floods and mudslides from severe storms, while arid parts of the northwest are experiencing increasing temperatures and aridity leading to more drought, reducing crop yields and negatively affect water supplies.
Rainfall occurs throughout the year and the heaviest precipitation occurs in the northeast, where it can exceed 2,500 mm per year, while the far western and southwestern valleys remain relatively dry with less than 760 mm of annual precipitation.
- Since the 1960s, mean annual temperature has increased approximately 0.45℃, at an average rate of 0.1℃ per decade. Warming has occurred most rapidly in the summer (June, July, August) and fall (September, October, November) seasons.
- The number of hot days and hot nights have increased significantly since 1960. The average number of ‘hot days’ increased by 63 days between 1960 and 2003; average hot nights have increased by an additional 48 days between 1960 and 2003.
- The average number of cold nights has decreased by 8.3% and the number of cold summer days has decreased by 14.7% since 1960.
- The DR has experienced a slight reduction in total precipitation, with increased dry periods in the north of the country May-June and September-October, separated by a characteristic mid-summer drought between July and August.
- Southern areas of the country have two main seasons: dry winter and rainy summer. This causes the heaviest precipitation in the northeast of the country (exceeding 2,500 mm), while the far western and southwestern valleys remain relatively dry with less than 760 mm of annual precipitation.