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Term Climatic factors
Definition

Are those that, in conjunction, define the general conditions and regulate the atmospheric weather of a relatively extensive terrestrial zone. Weather variables include altitude and latitude, distance from the sea, and relief.

Factors of the Dominican climate:

  • Latitude. The Dominican Republic is located between parallels 17° 36’ and 19° 58’, placing the country at the northern edge of the tropical zone. This latitude is reflected in the climate elements that are related to solar radiation (temperature, pressure, winds, humidity, rain, etc), in terms of both their duration and their intensity.
  • Insularity and Reduced Size. Being an island of reduced size and located quite far from continental masses makes the influence of the sea crucial. The daily sea-land breezes soften and even out temperatures and have an influence on the amount and distribution of rainfall, by dragging masses of humid air that come from the sea. As a result, the island is free of the extreme temperatures that affect continents.
  • Proximity to large masses of water and land. The Northern and Southern equatorial currents affect the country due to their high temperatures and water content, thus contributing to intensifying these characteristics of Dominican weather. On the other hand, the country’s geographical proximity to North America also brings it close to the cold air masses that descend during winter through the central plains of the United States which, when they reach the country, create light rains and lower temperatures.
  • Temperatures of neighboring seas. Temperatures are not the same in the Atlantic Ocean and in the Caribbean sea. The Northern coastal waters receive the effects of the Northern Atlantic low temperatures. By contrast, the Caribbean sea is closer to the equatorial line.
  • Island relief. The diverse relief of the island (and therefore of the country) is responsible for important local variations and large daily variations in the different meteorological elements. As a result, we find extreme temperature differences between cities like Constanza and Jimani. The same applies to rainfall, as position in a northeast-southeast orientation, allows for greater rainfall on the windward slope and less rainfall on the leeward slope of the mountains.
  • Sea-Land Breeze. These currents occur during the day and night on the coastal areas of the country. They are caused by the difference in temperatures between the land and the sea.
  • Valley-Mountain Breeze. These currents are similar to sea breezes and happen throughout the year. Mountains warm up and cool off faster, especially rocky or deforested hillsides, while temperature changes in valleys occur at a slower rate. When the hot air of the mountain slope rises and is replaced by the cooler air of the valley, it gets colder and creates clouds over the mountain tops causing rain, while the clouds that reach the valley dissolve resulting in good weather conditions.

See Climate Elements