Weather & Climate
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.
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
Top 5 Weather Websites for Dominica
- Dominica Meteorological Service – Local weather forecasting
- French Antilles Radar – French Radar, accurate for day to day use. Radar shows cloud cover or lack there of for Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique.
- Atlantic Hurricane & Tropical Storm Center – Satellite shows any Atlantic weather systems which may or may not affect the Caribbean.
- Track the Tropics – Keep up to date on weather and storms in the tropics 24/7.
- Time and Date – Sunrise, Sunset and Moon times for Roseau, Dominica
Plus a few more useful sites about Climate and Geology in Dominica.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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