The hurricane season officially ended in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday. Although far less catastrophic than what earlier estimates had indicated, the Dominican Republic saw at least two powerful hurricanes – Ian and Fiona – which left a trail of destruction as they swept through the country, causing millions in damage.
The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is finally over in the Dominican Republic as the country gears up for a busy winter season. Some parts of the country – especially in eastern provinces such as Altagracia – are still recovering from the devastation left behind by hurricane Fiona, which damaged hotels and countless other properties in late September.
The end of the hurricane season is great news for the over one million tourists that are expected to travel to the Dominican Republic this December, as they can now look forward to pleasantly warm tropical weather. Although tropical storms are still possible this winter, the hurricane season won’t start until next summer, and travelers can fully enjoy everything the Caribbean island has to offer.
This year, 14 named tropical storms made landfall in the Dominican Republic, and eight of them were hurricanes. However, only two powerful hurricanes formed over the Atlantic, well below the six to eight that forecasts from earlier this year had predicted. As such, the number of tropical storms and hurricanes in 2022 was in line with previous years, even though the most powerful storms led to widespread damage across much of the country.
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Hurricane Fiona, a category 4 hurricane that made landfall in the Dominican Republic in September, was the most powerful storm to hit the tropical country. Over 30 people were killed, and it led to material damages amounting to over 2.6 billion dollars.
The hurricane was a major setback for the travel industry, causing several large resorts in Punta Cana and Samaná to close their doors for repairs. Some resorts, including Sanctuary Cap Cana, won’t open until January, and Fiona also pushed back the grand opening of Miches’ new Temptation Resorts. Although authorities were quick to restore power and evacuate tourists, Fiona led to over 40,000 travelers canceling or postponing their vacation to the Dominican Republic, leading to massive economic losses.
The Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1, when conditions over the Atlantic began to favor the formation of powerful tropical storms, some of which evolve to become hurricanes. Authorities in the Dominican Republic are well-prepared for tropical disturbances, and hotels and resorts across the country have protocols in place to protect tourists and, in the worst cases, evacuation plans.
August was largely calm, but September saw up to 7 tropical storms, including two hurricanes, Fiona and Ian. According to Matthew Rosencrans, a head meteorologist from the Centre for Climate Forecast from the NOAA, “La Nina created favorable hurricane conditions throughout the season,” he said in a statement.
Before the hurricane season began, officials had said there would be between 14 and 21 named tropical storms and between 6 to 10 hurricanes, with 3 to 6 strong ones. Fortunately, those forecasts didn’t materialize, although meteorologists say climate change is expected to cause even more severe storms in the future.
Travelers headed to the Dominican Republic over the winter can expect pleasantly warm weather, with highs of 29 degrees Celsius and lows of around 20 degrees. However, rainy weather can still cause some inconveniences for travelers, and flash flooding is possible. Travelers are advised to keep an eye on the weather forecast and to have a comprehensive travel insurance plan that covers weather-related cancellations or delays.
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