Hot and Humid in the Caribbean

by on Friday, 21 June 2013

ISV group loving the hot and sunny weather at Playa Diamante, Dominican Republic © Narelle Webber ISV International Program Director

Volunteering with ISV in the Dominican Republic (DR)?  Learn a little about the DR’s climate… In general the climate in the DR is tropical with hot temperatures year round and two distinct seasons: the wet and the dry.  Temperatures vary very little across the year but the early wet season is generally the hottest time, while the early dry season is the coolest. The DR is mountainous, home to the four highest peaks in the West Indies the tallest of which is Pico Duarte at 3098 m (10164 ft). The country also features lakes, plains and plenty of coastlines, and this varied geography leads to a varied climate. The mountains especially cause a difference in rainfall across the country, with the north and east seeing a lot more precipitation. In the mountainous regions it is always a little cooler and averages generally range from the low to the mid-20s (Celsius). Note – The DR measures temperature in degrees Celsius. To accurately convert between Celsius and Fahrenheit:

°F to °C Deduct 32,   then multiply by 5, then divide by 9, E.g.   using this method 70°F is   equivalent to 21.1°C.
°C to °F Multiply by   9, then divide by 5, then add 32, E.g.   using this method 33°C is equivalent   to 91.4°F.

To do a quick but rough conversion:

°F to °C Subtract 30   then divide in half, E.g. 70°F is approx. 20°C.
°C to °F Double then   add 30, E.g. 33°C is approx. 96°F.


ISV’s Children’s Program is conducted in locations with indoor-outdoor options so that shelter can be found when it rains or to get some relief from the heat. Whenever possible we get outdoors too (c) ISV

ISV’s groups travel to the DR in the wet season, which runs from May to November. As well as seeing a lot of rain, it is very hot and humid at this time of year so conditions can become a little challenging. May to September sees the most rainfall before it begins to tail off in October and November. Rainfall does vary a lot across the country. September is usually the wettest month but these things vary year to year. Temperatures during the wet season are the highest of the year; August to October sees average temperatures in the upper 20s ºC  in most of the country. Daily highs are often in the 30s ºC, and the temperature is in the low 20s ºC or above at night. Combined with high humidity things can feel quite muggy.  It also means that laundry can be difficult to dry. March-April: Throughout the country are the breezy months, time for flying kites. In fact, kites are sold on major thoroughfares during Easter holiday time. May-June:Is historically the wettest time of the year. But the El Niño and La Niña phenomenas have altered these patterns. The most common weather forecast nationwide continues to be “partly cloudy or partly sunny with a chance of a short shower.” Note it is more likely to rain in the afternoons than in the mornings.

May to October is the wet season in the DR

August-September: This is the peak of the hurricane season (June 1-30 November) for the Caribbean. Caribbean hurricanes in June and July are rare because the waters are not warm enough to generate the appropriate conditions for these to develop. August and September are also the two hottest months of the year, with temperatures peaking at 32-34ºC (90-94ºF). SAFETY IN THE HEAT

  • Stay hydrated; drink lots of fluids, at least two liters per day, more if you are perspiring
  • Try and avoid exposure to the heat of the day (10am-3pm)
  • Protect yourself from the sun: cover up with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, long sleeve light weight and colored clothing
  • Wear sunscreen

Note – Participants should consult their ISV Project Overview and Dominican Republic Participant Travel Manual for information on what to bring and wear in the DR. To learn more about ISV’s programs in the DR visit our website. For more pre-departure blog information please use the following link:  

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