Commonwealth of Dominica

Climate

The Commonwealth of Dominic is situated entirely within the northern tropics, just north of latitude 15º north and west of longitude 16º west. The location makes it exposed to the conditions that prevail in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and its size, 48 kms (30 miles) long and 24 kms (15 miles) wide, also affects how these features impinge on it. The island is low-lying with its highest point being just 1500 metres (5,000 feet) above sea level. The climate is classified as “Marine Tropical” by the Government Meteorological Service with little seasonal variation. The dry season is from January to May. The rest of the year is the rainy season. The north east is considerably wetter and a little cooler than the south west. Rain may be expected during every month and the average temperature variation is between the lower and upper twenties, 26º C - 39º C (79º F - 84º F). The humidity is generally high, between 76% (north east) - 71% (south west). The prevailing wind is from the south east (the South East Trade Winds) at about 7 knots (13 kms/hr). The island is also subject to occasional tropical storms and hurricanes from July to October. Two extremely damaging storms hit the island in 2007, a category 1 hurricane, which caused a couple of deaths owing to landslides and in 1979, a category 5 hurricane. The scale of hurricane strengths is from 1 to 5 with the higher number representing the more severe event. Such storms also have economic consequences with damage to property and agricultural activity.

A practical interpretation for travelers of these statistics is given by the “dominica-guide.info” site. In addition to the variations mentioned above visitors will also experience changes with altitudes and time of day. December to May is the best period during which to visit Dominica. In general it is cooler and drier in these months without the risk of hurricanes. The high humidity is mitigated by the light breezes, especially in the evenings. Some images of the weather can be seen in the pictures in this site. If possible at least one “Golden Rule” visit should be made other than during the “high season”. It is useful to experience the best and the worst of any place in which it it desired to live on a permanent basis.

Additional information is available at the "Resources" tab on this site and in the book "How to Retire in the Commonwealth of Dominica" by Les Johns which can be bought directly from this site.

Time

Natural or Sun time is a function of the earth’s rotation on its axis. As the earth turns from west to east so the Sun rises later in locations west of any given location. Amanda Briney describes the relationship between longitude and time in more detail than is needed here. There are a number of web sites that allow a display of time at various places around the world.

The Commonwealth of Dominica is a small country and it does not spread across many degrees of longitude. The precise location of the country is demonstrated on the Maps of World site. The whole country is in the same time zone. As might be expected in a country lying within the tropics there is no daylight saving. A useful facility for keeping track of time can be found at the WorldTimeServer.com site and another site provides time information on a more country specific basis. However, the World Clock remains a "standard" in this field of information. The name of a particular Dominican city can be entered in the search rubric.

Further details on longitude and time can be seen at the "Resources" tab on this site and in the book "How to Retire in the Commonwealth of Dominica" by Les Johns which may be obtained directly from this site.