The hurricane season in the Atlantic officially starts on June 1 and runs through November 30, although in recent years, hurricanes in the Caribbean have occurred in April and December. Hurricanes in the Dominican Republic are most likely in August and September.
But don’t be in hurry to cross off the Dominican Republic from your vacation plans. As it turns out, hurricanes themselves are quite rare natural phenomena and are not specific for the Caribbean region. Around the world, 15-20 hurricanes occur every year however they do not occur in the Caribbean every year.
Not every hurricane makes it to the Dominican Republic. Dominicans sincerely believe that God protects their land from this disaster. Indeed, most of the strongest hurricanes in the history of meteorological observations have not affected the Dominican Republic.
The USA Today newspaper wrote that of the countries of the Caribbean Basin, the Dominican Republic is the least affected by this danger. Neighboring Antigua, Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are much more likely to suffer.
However, a devastating hurricane passes through the Dominican Republic, on average, once every 20 years. Over the past 80 years, such hurricanes swept over the Dominican Republic twelve times. Fortunately, most of them went through the south-west and west coast, the least populated areas.
The peculiarity of a hurricane, as a natural phenomenon, is that it never arises suddenly. For a normal cyclone to turn into a hurricane takes several days or even weeks.
The speed of movement of the hurricane across the surface of the earth is not great - usually no more than 15-25 kilometers per hour. With an established warning system for tracking tropical hurricanes, prudent people have time to prepare.
Hurricanes and tropical cyclones are a consequence of the El Niño current, which determines the weather in the Atlantic. They begin with the so-called "tropical depression" which can evolve into a storm.
When the wind speed within the cyclone exceeds 120 kilometers per hour, it begins to be called a hurricane.
Meteorologists developed the Saffir-Simpson scale which assesses the power of this phenomenon and the potential damage from it. The weakest is the 1st category, when the wind speed is above 120 kilometers per hour, that is, when the wind is already moving faster than a car.
But this is only the beginning of the scale. Within the fifth category hurricane, wind speed reaches 250 and even 300 kilometers per hour. In this case, torrential rain pours down which is another component of the disaster. And what about storm at sea? – it's better not even to imagine.
The first officially recorded truly violent hurricane passed over the central part of Santo Domingo on September 3, 1930. iT was then called San Zenon.
A list of names of hurricanes - long before they happen - is compiled by the International Meteorological Committee. If the hurricane caused significant destruction, the name is permanently removed from the list. This means, for example, that hurricanes with the names Ines, Beula, David, Hortense, George, Jane and Matthew will never again threaten the Dominican Republic as the country has already suffered from them.
Of all the recorded hurricanes in Punta Cana, only one category 3 hurricane has struck the resort. The reason for this is that it is protected by a mountain range, the continuation of the South American Cordiller
The risk of experiencing some effects of the elements is still there. But after the recent hurricanes, the country’s Ministry of Tourism and the hotel owners made the decision to prepare for such an event so that, for the guests, the elements appeared more like a show than a disaster.
The staff is trained to act quickly and effectively in extreme situations. In addition, during construction, special attention was paid to the strength of structures.
So, if in the Dominican Republic, and a hurricane finds you, almost nothing can happen.
If you follow the instructions of the hotel staff exactly, you will be safe. And your vacation will become an adventure story which you can proudly relate to anyone.
The quality of the holiday will not suffer even from the hurricane. And if the disaster causes significant damage to the buildings and infrastructure of the hotel, you can relocate to less affected hotels or even to another coast.
True, in such bad weather, your flight may ,may be postponed. In that event, it will be possible to stay a few more days in the Dominican Republic at the expense of the hotel.
And what about publications in the media on "Hurricanes in the Dominican Republic," you ask? And the calamity from them: the destruction of communications and hundreds, even thousands of bodies?
As usual, this is an exaggeration. There was even a case where, for several days, the hurricane that happened in the neighboring state of Dominica was called a hurricane in the Dominican Republic.
Therefore, we advise, in general, taking into account the content of publications in the media, but to treat them critically: hurricanes in the Dominican Republic are much less dangerous than stories about them.