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Hurricanes in Punta Cana, should they be feared?

We tell you the truth about hurricanes in the caribbean

If you are a lover of sun and beach vacations, you have surely thought about traveling to Punta Cana to enjoy the climate and water temperature that the Caribbean has all year round.

But you are also probably wondering what is the best season to travel to the Dominican Republic to avoid the heavy rains and winds that occur when there are cyclones.

When is it most advisable to travel to the Caribbean to avoid tornadoes? What are the months when hurricanes are most likely to occur? And how to act if, in spite of everything, we are surprised by a hurricane in Punta Cana?

How is the weather in Punta Cana?

Punta Cana has a tropical climate, which means that temperatures are mild throughout the year and there are hardly any changes between the low season and the months when there are more tourists.

Therefore, it can be said that any time of the year is a good time to travel, because even in winter the average temperature is around 25 degrees.

As for rain, the truth is that at any time a tropical depression can occur due to high temperatures and humidity. Although the storms are strong, they last very little time (only 5 or 10 minutes) and after the rains the sun shines again with intensity.

What months are the most favorable for hurricanes?

Hurricanes form when humidity and temperature conditions adjust to certain parameters. And considering that in the Dominican Republic the temperature is constant, as we said before, cyclones can occur at any time of the year. Although officially, the hurricane season in Punta Cana coincides with the months from June to November, which is usually the low season for vacations in the Caribbean.

In other words, almost half of the year there is a risk of tornadoes and cyclones when traveling to the Dominican Republic, coinciding with the low and medium tourism season in the northern hemisphere. You may choose August to enjoy the warm waters of Bávaro Beach and be surprised by some of these phenomena typical of tropical latitudes.

The fact that this season is the most likely to produce a hurricane has to do with the fact that the temperature of the sea water is higher, which causes the humidity of the interior of the ocean to rise and cyclones can emerge on the high seas.

However, Dominicans say that it is rare for a hurricane to reach the island when it has formed elsewhere.

Also, outside the official season it is more common for storms to occur, although this will not affect temperatures and you can still enjoy the warmth whether you travel in January or August.

Hurricane Punta Cana

Even if you are caught by a hurricane in Punta Cana, is there anything to fear?

It is very important to emphasize that there is nothing to fear if a hurricane occurs during your vacation. The forecasting and warning systems work very well, and hotels are prepared to deal with this type of situation.

If you are spending a few days in Punta Cana and the winds announce the arrival of a hurricane or a very strong storm, the staff of your hotel will inform you of what you have to do to continue having a pleasant stay even if you cannot go out for a couple of days.

Therefore, there is no need to be afraid if during your vacation you are surprised by a hurricane in Punta Cana because everything is prepared to withstand the passage of these phenomena.

Tips and recommendations if you are caught in a hurricane while on vacation

The most important advice is to get informed before traveling to find out if there are any hurricanes in the area, as well as what category they are expected to reach and what their course is.

If you are already enjoying your vacation in Punta Cana and a hurricane arrives, these are the tips you should follow:

  • Pay close attention to the warnings given at the hotel. In case there is an evacuation order, indications will be given to do it in the safest way.
  • If there is no need to evacuate, do not leave the hotel until you are told it is safe to do so. Do not peek out of curiosity, even when you think everything has passed. It could be the eye of the hurricane, and both the winds and the rains will return. When all is safe again, you will be warned.
  • Expect that you may not be able to go out for a day or two. During that time you will have to stay in your room or in a hurricane shelter, depending on the strength of the hurricane.
  • Make sure you have a water reserve in case the hotel runs out of water at some point.
  • Contact family members in the area you are coming from to let them know you are all right.
  • Stay calm and help those who are with you to stay calm while the hurricane passes.

But above all, don't let anything stop you from enjoying a nice vacation in Punta Cana.

Ciclón en República Dominicana

The most remembered hurricanes of the Dominican Republic

Throughout history, the Dominican Republic has experienced some hurricanes and tropical storms that are remembered for their intensity. For example:

  • In 1615 hurricane San Leoncio passed through the island, and although there is no record of the category it reached, it is remembered for the damage it caused, the most severe during the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • In 1899, the northwest of the Dominican Republic was affected by the category 3 hurricane San Ciriaco.
  • In 1930, San Zenón devastated Santo Domingo even though it was only category 2, because at that time there were no plans for forecasting and knowledge of these phenomena.
  • Flora, a category 4 hurricane that arrived in 1963, made its passage at some distance from the island, but caused major flooding in several areas.
  • A year later, in 1964, came Cleo (category 5), which passed through the Barahona peninsula and had a devastating effect.
  • Another category 5 hurricane was Inés, in 1966. It devastated Oviedo Viejo and the personal damages were quite numerous.
  • In 1980, Allen passed by skirting the southern part of the Dominican Republic from afar, although due to its category 5 there were large waves and hurricane conditions.
  • In 1996 came Hortense, a category 3, which passed by the Punta Cana airport and caused streams and rivers to swell.
  • Another of the most remembered hurricanes is George, in 1998, which produced high waves and destroyed several areas.
  • In 2003, tropical storm Odette caused damage to agriculture, earth movements and the death of several people.
  • In September 2022, hurricane Fiona, made its passage along the coast of Punta Cana, causing significant damage in the tourist area.
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