Eight provinces in the Dominican Republic are on alert due to stormy weather conditions in large parts of the country. As a result, rivers and streams may flood, and residents are asked to avoid flood-prone areas. The bleak weather conditions are forecast to continue over the next few days.
The Center for Emergency Operations (CEO), the Dominican Republic’s national emergency center, issued a warning for bad weather conditions on Tuesday and placed eight provinces on alert. The harsh weather is causing heavy downpours, strong winds, and occasional lightning and thunderstorms, which can be potentially destructive. The unstable meteorological conditions are made worse by the wind from the east and southeast, bringing in humidity and heavy rain.
The weather alert was issued mainly due to the risk of flooding of streams and rivers and flash flooding, a major concern in urban areas. Weather conditions are expected to remain unstable over the next few days. Residents and visitors should be cautious and plan accordingly, avoiding streams, rivers, and beaches.
Meteorologists from the national weather service expect the unfortunate conditions to continue well into Wednesday across several parts of the country. Downpours, as well as lightning storms, and strong winds are likely to affect the eastern Cibao region, coastal areas, the central mountain range as well as the border region. The worst weather is forecast to hit the country during the evening, when conditions may worsen significantly.
Thursday’s forecast is also bleak, and rain, strong winds, and thunderstorms are expected to continue in the eastern parts of the country. With humidity remaining strong, the higher precipitation will remain.
According to the National Meteorological Office (Onamet), Tuesday evening saw bad weather across large parts of the island. Showers were especially strong in the late evening, and moderate to severe thunderstorms accompanied by sudden gusts of wind were reported. The northeast, southeast, and central mountain range are currently most affected.
Authorities recommend people avoid crossing rivers and streams that contain a high quantity of water. Due to the increased risk of flooding, flash floods may occur suddenly, leading to widespread damage to properties, injury, or even death. Moreover, residents and visitors in green alert zones should avoid going to the beach due to the potential worsening of weather conditions, which may include lightning or large waves.
Currently, the provinces that are on yellow alert include Hato Mayor, La Vega, Santiago, and Monsenor Nouel. Meanwhile, Monte Plata, San José de Ocoa, Santiago Rodríguez and Sáncez Ramírez are on green alert. Residents in yellow alert provinces should be ready for potentially disruptive weather events and be able to reach a safe area in case of an accident. Those in a green zone should be ready for worsening weather conditions.
Sahara Dust To Affect the Dominican Republic Until September
Last Wednesday the Dominican Republic got its first glimpse of Sahara sand when sand particles traveled across the Atlantic and reached the island. The phenomenon is associated with higher temperatures and a heat sensation of nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit was reported in parts of the country.
The meteorological agency said that the sand, which is usually reported close to the start of the hurricane season, lasts until September. High concentrations of sand and dust particles can lead to irritation of the skin and eyes, as well as difficulty breathing. For that reason, some people are advised to wear face masks if they suffer from allergies. July and August see some of the highest concentrations of Saharan dust.
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