Climate vs Weather


 

The difference between Climate and Weather is time. Climate is how the atmosphere behaves over long periods of time and is therefore more constant. Weather on the other hand refers to the conditions of the atmosphere over short periods. So while Dominica’s climate is Tropical, our weather varies depending on the time of year (season), the hour, day or where you are in the island.

More about Dominica’s seasonal weather

Dominica’s terrain and topographic features are responsible for much of its diverse micro climates and resulting vegetation, and this comes as no surprise on an island with the highest concentration of volcanoes in the world. There are noticeable differences in the vegetation between the east and west coasts, and a drive across the island reveals these variations in our forest types and micro climates. Even from valley to valley you may experience sun and then rain and then sun again!

A trip to Morne Trois Pitons National Park takes you up into the Rainforest and Montane forests. Hiking up the taller mountains exposes you to the dense windswept Elfin forests which are a sight to behold.

Not only does climate affect our vegetation, it also influences how we live, and this is most apparent in our Traditional Architecture, Agriculture & Culture. Our weather is rarely dull and in Dominica, there’s always something to do.

This diagram taken from The Dominica Story: A History of the Island by Lennox Honychurch, shows a cross section of Dominica and the location of the various forest types as they relate to altitude, rainfall and wind patterns.

Learn more about Dominica’s history and geology on www.lennoxhonychurch.com

Roseau
80°
light intensity shower rain
humidity: 70%
wind: 8mph SE
H 79 • L 78
Weather from OpenWeatherMap

Top 5 Weather Websites for Dominica

  1. Dominica Meteorological Service – Local weather forecasting
  2. French Antilles Radar – French Radar, accurate for day to day use. Radar shows cloud cover or lack there of for Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique.
  3. Atlantic Hurricane & Tropical Storm Center – Satellite shows any Atlantic weather systems which may or may not affect the Caribbean.
  4. Track the Tropics – Keep up to date on weather and storms in the tropics 24/7.
  5. Time and Date – Sunrise, Sunset and Moon times for Roseau, Dominica

Plus a few more useful sites about Climate and Geology in Dominica.

Waterspout over the Caribbean Sea. Viewed from the West Coast

Seasonal Weather


Dominica’s average daily temperatures range from about 75°F (24°C) to 85°F (29°C). Annual rainfall in Dominica varies considerably, from 50 inches along the coast, to over 300 inches in the interior. Traditionally, there has been a dry season between February and June, with the wettest months being August to October. The peak of hurricane season is in late August/early September. Expect cooler nights in the higher elevations… and light showers at any time!

However in recent years, this distinction between the wet and dry season has been less clear as a result of climate change.

Wettest Months

On the east coast, September to November tend to be the wettest months, whereas it’s from July to September on the west. In recent years however, this has varied.

Hottest Months

The east and west coasts of the island have many differences, including peak temperatures. June tends to be the hottest time of year on the west coast, while on the east coast its during August/ September.

Driest Months

During the months of February to May, it is known as Dominica’s Carem season. March tends to be the driest with as little as 1.5″ of rainfall.

Coldest Months

During the months of December to February temperatures can become very cool. In some cases somewhere in the lower teens Celsius / 60’s Fahrenheit.  This is experienced mostly in the interior or at higher elevations.

Hurricanes & Storms

The hurricane season in Dominica and the rest of the Caribbean is from June 1st to November 30th.

Dominica’s position, right in the middle of Hurricane Alley, ought to suggest that we get hit by hurricanes on a regular basis. Though the island has been devastated on occasion — most notably by Hurricane David in 1979 and more recently by Tropical Storm Erika (August 2015) — our ability to bounce back is due in part to our experience…

Recommended Reading

The Dominica Story:
A History of the Island

by Dr. Lennox Honychurch

Buy on Amazon

 

Dominica (Bradt Travel Guide)

by Paul Crask

Buy on Amazon

Three Nights Later, The Soukouyan on the Roof and Other Stories

by Roy Sanford

Buy on Amazon