The Dominican Republic is located in the north central Caribbean and is part of the Greater Antilles archipelago. It occupations the eastern two thirds of the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. Santo Domingo, the capital of The Dominican Republic was the first permanent European settlement in the Americas.
The Dominican Republic is a very mountainous country with peaks over ten thousands feet in the Cordillera central. The mountains cause a great variation in the climate across the country. Hurricanes also can affect The Dominican Republic, especially the eastern and southern coasts. The reason for this is due to fact that most hurricanes approach from either the east over the Lesser Antilles or from the southeast after passing through the eastern Caribbean Sea.
The rainy pattern is complex across The Dominican Republic. Rainfall can be over 100 inches per year over the windward slopes of the northeastern mountains. The moist tropical wind flow from the trade winds supplies abundant moisture to build heavy showers. This is especially true during the summer. The southwestern part of the country is the driest. Some valleys on the lee side of the mountains may only receive about 15 inches of rain per year on average.
Santo Domingo, as well as, the whole country except the north coast experiences a wet season from May through October. Rainfall amounts on average are between 5 1/2 "to over 7 inches.The north coast faces the trade winds directly and has a wet season from October to January. and two and one-half inches of rainfall occur each month. Tropical storms and hurricanes do affect The Dominican Republic occasionally and can bring 10-20 inches or more of rainfall.
Temperatures in the Dominican Republic change very little during the year. Summer highs average in the upper 80's and winter highs in the mid 80's. Summer lows drop to the lower 70's and winter lows into the upper 60's. The temperatures can vary significantly across the country. The southern arid regions can top out in the 90's with records near or over 100 degrees during the summer. Winter temperatures can be below freezing near the highest points of the Cordillera Central. Frost is even possible in the highest valleys.
Travel Weather Summary
The Dominican Republic has a complex climate regime due to its very high mountains. Most of the resorts are located in the beach areas, which has a very comfortable, mild climate. Many days are filled with sunshine with a passing shower. Vacationers wishing to minimize their chance of seeing rain should travel in the late winter or early spring. Travelers should stay informed on tropical weather information, especially during the hurricane season.