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Experience Dominica – The Nature Island: Dominica Vacations | Exotic Vacations | Honeymoon Destination

Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.


Anybody would agree with me that Dominica is one of the most beautiful natural islands in the Caribbean region. The island is shrouded in towering mountain ranges and tropical rainforests; Dominica is a beautiful place to be. Regarding the Dominica weather, it is has a subtropical and a hot region year-round.

The primary rainy season is from June to October when the region it at its most humid and hottest period. The period between December all through to May is considered the best time to visit this beautiful island.

The variation in altitudes, coupled with the heat and rain, plays a vital part in aiding the island in maintaining a diverse plant life and vegetation, that includes more than one thousand species of flowering plants.

sunny weather in Dominica

The Dominica Weather details.

The average daytime temperatures range from 70 degrees Fahrenheit up to high 80s. The night temperatures are notably cooler and drop by about 11 degrees Fahrenheit. The summers are by far the hottest, bearing in mind that the highest temperatures can reach up into the 90s. However, the winter is somehow cooler, with the temperatures averaging between 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though the temperatures can be extremely sweltering, they are hugely controlled, cooled and moderated by the brisk trade northeastern winds, thus creating a lovely island breeze.

It is paramount to note that the weather seasons of the Dominica are not so much dependent on temperature, but vastly are determined by rainfall. The seasons are significantly determined by the rainy and dry spells, and the region experiences precipitation amounts that are fairly distributed throughout the year. And if you didn’t know, cooling rain showers are experienced almost every day, specifically in the region’s densely forested areas, but the drier seasons are thought to be from January to May.

Rainy weather in Dominica

The wettest months which are between to July to October, are also the months that defines the season of the hurricane. During this period, the skies are more cloudy, and you are a traveler, you should expect increased amount of rainfalls. Precisely, as a tourist, you should know that visiting this island during the summer is safer, but again as a general rule, just keep an eye on the weather reports and details, since Dominica experiences storm activity. Always be prepared with an alternative plan, in case any incidences of an unexpected weather rear up.

Different regions of Dominica do vary rainfall amounts as well as temperature, and as a vacationer, you should plan appropriately, while visiting. If your intention is to hike the trails of the mountainsides and rainforests of Dominica, just be assured of experiencing some rainfall amounts, which is noticed almost daily. Other regions that are densely forested and of high altitudes are also cooler every day, as compared to coastal areas of the island. Coastal zones are in most instances humid and hotter but are more or less again modified by the sea breezes. If you are a traveler, probably it is a splendid idea carrying with you essential breathable rain gear equipment and a rain jacket.

As a visitor, you are assured of finding an incredibly wonderful island paradise in Dominica. However, bearing mind that the region experiences significant changes in the weather, always be prepared for unexpected conditions of weather, and don’t allow yourself to get trapped while enjoying your time on the tropical island.

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Think of a luxury holiday destination and the Caribbean probably springs to mind.  White beaches, tropical blue waters, beautiful resorts and fabulous weather all combine to create a dream holiday, but although the Caribbean is certainly a dream holiday for many people, at certain times of the year the weather can turn a little bit nasty.  When the wind blows and the sea churns like a fiery cauldron you can be sure that hurricane season has arrived!

When is it Hurricane Season in the Caribbean?

Sadly hurricanes have a mind of their own and they don’t always show up on time, so hurricane season is not set in stone.  However, the local weather is at its most unpredictable between June and November and if a hurricane weather system is going to develop, it will most likely happen around this time of the year.

How Dangerous is Hurricane Season in the Caribbean?

There is very little doubt that hurricanes are highly dangerous beasts and depending on the severity of the weather system, they can cause devastation on a massive scale (as evidenced by Hurricane Sandy).  But as nasty as a hurricane can be, they tend to affect certain parts of the Caribbean more than others, so you should not be put off booking a holiday to the Caribbean during the peak hurricane season—some islands are rarely affected and even when they are, the storms cause very little damage.  And besides, holidays during hurricane season are often cheaper!

Which Caribbean Islands are Least Likely to be Hit By a Hurricane?

The islands in the far south of the Caribbean are least likely to be struck by a Hurricane (most hurricanes travel along the Gulf Coast, which makes the islands to the north, including Bermuda and the Bahamas, a far riskier proposition).  So if you are a betting person, you will be thrilled to learn that the Caribbean island with the best odds of staying out of the path of a hurricane or tropical storm is Curacao.  Curacao and some of the other relatively safe islands are described below:

Curacao

Curacao is a beautiful island just north of Venezuela.  One of three islands in the Dutch Antilles (also known as the ABC islands), Curacao is a favourite stopping point for Caribbean cruise ships.  The main port of Willemstad boasts some fine (and very colourful!) colonial Dutch architecture and when it is cruise ship day, you can’t move for tourists flocking around the harbour.  There are some great opportunities for scuba diving just off the island and when the sun sets on the horizon, be sure to sample some of the island’s famous liqueur: blue Curacao.  Trust me—it’s lovely!

Aruba

Curacao’s close neighbour, Aruba, is another top choice for a hurricane free holiday.  The island enjoys glorious sunshine for most of the year and although Aruba isn’t as green and lush as some of the other Caribbean islands, it has its own unique flavour and attractions.  These include an interesting desert landscape, underground caves, fabulous white beaches and the sunken wreck of a German freighter, which has been transformed into a popular dive site.

Bonaire

Bonaire is the third island in the Dutch Antilles.  Like Curacao and Aruba, Bonaire is rarely affected by hurricanes, although major tropical storms do sometimes pass over the southern half of the Caribbean.  Unlike Curacao and Aruba, Bonaire is very unspoiled and luxury resort hotels are nowhere to be found.  Eco-tourism is much more the name of the game and the Washington-Slagbaai National Park covers a large percentage of the island.  Bonaire is very popular with scuba divers and snorkeling enthusiasts and the entire coastline has been designated as a protected marine sanctuary.

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago are two other islands in the Caribbean where the odds of enjoying a hurricane free holiday are excellent, which makes them a great destination for a trouble free break.  Both Trinidad and Tobago have a rich cultural heritage with Asian, African and English influences combining to produce a fascinating melting pot of vibrant nightlife and eclectic local cuisine.

Grenada

Grenada, also known as the ‘spice island’, is another popular choice if you prefer not to have your holiday of a lifetime ruined by a pesky hurricane.  Famous for its secluded beaches and excellent diving opportunities, Grenada is the place to come when you want to forget about the outside world and totally relax for a week or two.

If you are looking to book all inclusive holidays Caribbean islands can be dangerous areas to visit due to hurricanes. However, with the information here you can book your holiday with the knowledge of which islands are safe during the hurricane season; allowing you to take advantage of the cheaper prices at these times of the year.

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Editor’s note:As we are in the hurricane season, I thought it would be a great idea to share this article on how you can observe the different weather patterns without a forecast

Article is provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Predict the Weather Without a Forecast. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Long before technology was developed to predict the weather, people had to rely on observation, patterns and folklore to avoid being caught off guard by the elements. If your plans, livelihood or even your survival depend on the weather, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to become familiar with some of these methods, especially since you never know when you might be out of touch with the local weather report. These methods aren’t foolproof, but they have their usefulness, and if you don’t have a forecast on hand, what do you have to lose by trying them?

Steps

  1. Check the grass for dew at sunrise. If the grass is dry, this indicates clouds or strong breezes, which can mean rain. If there’s dew, it probably won’t rain that day. However, if it rained during the night, this method will not be reliable.
  2. Remember the rhyme: “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.” Look for any sign of red in the sky (not a red sun); it will not be a bold orange or red the majority of the time, but that depends a little on where you live.
    • If you see a red sky during sunset (when you’re looking to the west), there is a high pressure system with dry air that is stirring dust particles in the air, causing the sky to look red. Since prevailing front movements and jet streams weather usually move from west to east (see Tips), the dry air is heading towards you.
    • A red sky in the morning (in the East, where the sun rises) means that the dry air has already moved past you, and what follows behind it (on its way towards you) is a low pressure system that carries moisture.
  3. Look for a rainbow in the west. This is the result of the rising sun’s morning rays from the east striking moisture in the west. Most major storm fronts travel west to east, and a rainbow in the west means moisture, which can mean rain is on its way. On the other hand, a rainbow in the east around sunset means that the rain is on its way out and you can look forward to sunny days. Remember: Rainbow in the morning, need for a warning.
  4. Detect which direction the wind is blowing. If unable to immediately detect the wind’s direction, throw a small piece of grass in to the air and watch its descent. Easterly winds can indicate an approaching storm front, westerly winds the opposite. Strong winds indicate high pressure differences, which can be a sign of advancing storm fronts. Deciduous trees show the undersides of their leaves during unusual winds, supposedly because they grow in a way that keeps them right-side up during typical prevalent winds.
  5. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and smell the air.
    • Plants release their waste in a low pressure atmosphere, generating a smell like compost and indicating an upcoming rain.
    • Swamps will release methane just before a storm because of the lower pressure, which leads to unpleasant smells.
    • A proverb says “Flowers smell best just before a rain.” Scents are stronger in moist air, associated with rainy weather.
  6. Check for humidity. Many people can feel humidity, especially in their hair (it curls up and gets frizzy). You can also look at the leaves of oak or maple trees. These leaves tend to curl in high humidity, which tends to precede a heavy rain. Pine cone scales remain closed if the humidity is high, but open in dry air. Under humid conditions, wood swells (look out for those sticky doors) and salt clumps (is that shaker working well?).
  7. Watch the clouds.
    • Clouds going in different directions (e.g. one layer going west, another layer going north) – bad weather coming, probably hail
    • Cumulonimbus clouds early in the day and developing throughout the day – greater chances of severe weather
    • Mammatus cloud (formed by sinking air) – thunderstorm is dissipating (not forming)
    • Cirrus clouds high in the sky like long streamers – bad weather within the next 36 hours
    • Altocumulus clouds like mackerel scales – bad weather within the next 36 hours. The old sailor’s saying for these types of clouds is “Mares tails and mackerel scales, tall ships carry short sails.” Another is “Mackerel skies and mare’s tails, sailors furl their sails.” Mackerel skies and mares tails formations sometimes appear in the same sky. When that happens, rain is sure to follow the next day.
    • Cloud cover on a winter night – expect warmer weather because clouds prevent heat radiation that would lower the temperature on a clear night.
    • Cumulus towers (cumulus castellanus) – possibility of showers later in the day
  8. Observe animals. They are more likely to react to changes in air pressure than we are.
    • If birds are flying high in the sky, there will probably be fair weather. (Falling air pressure caused by an imminent storm causes discomfort in birds’ ears, so they fly low to alleviate it. Large numbers of birds roosting on power lines indicates swiftly falling air pressure.)
    • Seagulls tend to stop flying and take refuge at the coast if a storm is coming.
    • Animals, especially birds, get quiet immediately before it rains.
    • Cows will typically lie down before a thunderstorm. They also tend to stay close together if bad weather’s on the way.
    • Ants build their hills with very steep sides just before a rain.
    • Cats tend to clean behind their ears before a rain.
    • Turtles often search for higher ground when a large amount of rain is expected. You will often see them in the road during this period (1 to 2 days before the rain).
    • A very old wives tale says if birds feed in a storm it will rain for a long time, if they don’t it will clear soon.
  9. Make a campfire. The smoke should rise steadily. Smoke that swirls and descends is caused by low pressure (i.e. rain on the way).
  10. Look at the moon during the night. If it is reddish or pale, dust is in the air. But if the moon is bright and sharply focused, it’s probably because low pressure has cleared out the dust, and low pressure means rain. Also, a ring around the moon (caused by light shining through cirrostratus clouds associated with warm fronts and moisture) can indicate that rain will probably fall within the next three days. Remember: Circle around the moon, rain or snow soon.
  11. Create your own prediction methods. The methods provided thus far are based around a few key (but very general) principles: Low pressure brings rain, and major weather systems move from west to east. Predicting the weather is all about recognizing the signs of pressure change in your area. While prevailing systems may move from west to east, for example, individual storms in a particular region may not, due to local weather phenomena. Long term residents who spend a great deal of their time outdoors, particularly farmers, commercial fishermen and the like, learn to observe trends that give them clues to long term weather patterns and seasonal changes in their specific geographical location. In the southern United States, for instance, dogwoods are seldom caught off guard by late spring frosts, so when they bloom, you have likely seen the last frost of the season. By being observant, forming hypotheses, and testing your predictions, you can fine-tune your weather predicting abilities beyond what any article could ever instruct.
  12. Look for pine cones Pine trees are an excellent indicator of the overall harshness of the coming winter. In fall, look to the pine trees in your area and note if the cones are high on the tree or low. Low hanging cones indicate a mild winter.

Tips

  • If you have the inclination, you can use a barometer (or make your own) to measure changes in pressure. Keep a notebook and observe what else happens when the pressure changes. Be attentive and you might come up with your own weather-prediction method that’s localized to your area.

Warnings

  • Don’t risk your life or well-being based on these indicators and proverbs. They are correlational only. Predicting the weather in this manner is not an exact science.

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