In general, the east-west trending Cordillera main and Sierra de Cayey mountains form an insular hydrologic divide that separates the island of Puerto Rico right into two climatologically distinctive regions. The northern two-thirds the the island has actually a reasonably humid climate vice versa, the southerly one-third that the island is semi-arid.

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Climate that Puerto Rico

In general, the east-west trending Cordillera central and Sierra de Cayey mountains kind an insular hydrologic divide that separates the island the Puerto Rico right into two climatologically distinct regions. The north two-thirds of the island has a fairly humid climate whereas the southerly one-third that the island is semi-arid.

The national Oceanic and also Atmospheric administration (1982) subdivided the island the Puerto Rico into six climate areas and designated a seventh climate area in the outlying islands (fig 1). Regional climate variability within every subdivision and also in the outlying islands is attributed to local distinctions in topographic relief and the effect of prevailing profession winds. Along the northern shore of Puerto Rico and also in the outlying islands, prevailing trade winds are from the northeast. Along the southern coastline of Puerto Rico, the east-west trending mountains influence wind patterns. In this area, the predominant wind direction is native the southeast during daylight hours, conversely, prevailing winds are from the northeast during the period from midnight to beforehand morning. Prevailing winds follow me the western finish of Puerto Rico in ~ Mayagüez different from other locations on the island. Primary winds in this area are from the west, i beg your pardon is nearly opposite come the prevailing northeast trade winds. Prevailing west winds space infrequent throughout other locations of the island. Because that example, in the san Juan area, west prevailing winds occur less 보다 3 percent that the time and generally are associated with the passing of cold fronts across the island.


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Figure 1. Climatic subdivisions the Puerto Rico and also outlying islands.

Mean monthly air temperature in Puerto Rico and the outlying islands vary little throughout the year. Air temperatures typically are warmest throughout the month the August and coolest during the month of January and February. In seaside areas, annual air temperatures range from a average maximum the 27 levels Celsius (°C) to a mean minimum of 24 °C. In internal mountainous locations (that is, Eastern and also Western inner climate subdivisions; fig. 1), annual air temperatures selection from a typical maximum that 25 °C come a median minimum that 22 °C.

Air temperature fluctuate small throughout the year together a result of relatively constant insolation (that is, solar radiation) and also seawater temperatures. The rate of shipment of solar radiation is nearly consistent because the distinction in daylight hours varies little throughout the year. In between the longest day of the year (13 hours, 13 minutes) and also the shortest job (11 hours, 2 minutes), the lot of daylight different by only slightly an ext than 2 hours. Typical monthly seawater temperatures vary by only around 4 °C; the median maximum water temperature of 28 °C occurs in October, and also the typical minimum water temperature that 24 °C wake up in January.

The spatial circulation of rainfall in Puerto Rico is change (fig. 2). Rainfall is biggest in the Sierra de Luquillo rainforest in the eastern part of Puerto Rico. The mean yearly total rainfall in Sierra de Luquillo is 169.0 inches per year (in/yr) (4,305 millimeters per year (mm/yr). The the very least amount of rainfall wake up in the vicinity of Guánica in ~ Ensenada in southwestern Puerto Rico. In this area, the mean yearly total rainfall is 30.0 in/yr (768 mm/yr).

Figure 2. Distribution of mean yearly precipitation in Puerto Rico

Pronounced orographic impacts from the Cordillera main and the Sierra de Cayey hills in Puerto Rico an outcome in high rainfall amounts occurring on the windward next of the mountains, i beg your pardon is north of the insular hydrologic divide. Opposing occurs southern of the division on the leeward side of the mountains, where seaside areas lie in ~ a rain shadow resulting in lower rainfall amounts. Orographic impacts on rainfall space not together pronounced in the far islands, v the exception of Vieques.

Rainfall top top the island that Vieques different substantially between the leeward or west next of the island and the windward or east side the the island. In general, rainfall occurs much more frequently ~ above the west side of Vieques. Return rainfall data are poor to quantify amounts, approximates indicate the the difference in rainfall in between the east and west end of the island can be as much as 13.6 in/yr (345 mm/yr). Rainfall in the eastern part of the island might be similar to the of the island that Culebra whereby the mean annual total rainfall is 36.4 in/yr (925 mm/yr). The mean annual total rainfall in the western component of Vieques, in ~ Playa Grande and also Resolución, is 50.0 in/yr (1,270 mm/yr). The mean annual total rainfall on the island the Mona is 36.0 in/yr (915 mm/yr).

Although rainfall data are limited, details vegetation adjusted for life with a limited water supply (such as xerophytes) serve as solid indicators about rainfall distribution on Vieques. The development of xerophytes is common on the eastern side of the island where rainfall is limited as opposed to the west next of the island whereby rainfall is more abundant.

Major rainfall occasions producing an extensive volumes that rain in Puerto Rico and the outlying archipelago are caused by one of two climate mechanisms—the passage of an easterly wave or the passage of a cold front. Easterly waves normally occur throughout May come November with some having enough intensity come evolve right into tropical storms and (or) hurricanes. Cold fronts generally occur during November come April and also may create sufficient rainfall to reason flooding even during the duration from December to March, which is a fairly dry period. The variety of easterly waves or cold fronts passing end the an ar in any type of given year at some point determines even if it is the an ar experiences relatively dry conditions or wet conditions. Together a result, localized droughts take place yearly within numerous of the geographic areas of Puerto Rico.


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Figure 2. Circulation of mean yearly precipitation in Puerto Rico

Pronounced orographic effects from the Cordillera central and the Sierra de Cayey mountains in Puerto Rico result in high rainfall quantities occurring on the windward side of the mountains, i beg your pardon is north of the insular hydrologic divide. The contrary occurs south of the division on the leeward next of the mountains, where seaside areas lie in ~ a rain shadow causing lower rainfall amounts. Orographic impacts on rainfall room not as pronounced in the far islands, with the exemption of Vieques.

Rainfall top top the island that Vieques differs substantially between the leeward or west next of the island and also the windward or east side of the island. In general, rainfall occurs much more frequently on the west next of Vieques. Although rainfall data are poor to quantify amounts, approximates indicate the the distinction in rainfall in between the east and also west ends of the island might be as lot as 13.6 in/yr (345 mm/yr). Rainfall in the eastern component of the island might be comparable to the of the island the Culebra whereby the mean annual total rainfall is 36.4 in/yr (925 mm/yr). The mean annual total rainfall in the western component of Vieques, in ~ Playa Grande and Resolución, is 50.0 in/yr (1,270 mm/yr). The mean yearly total rainfall on the island the Mona is 36.0 in/yr (915 mm/yr).

Although rainfall data room limited, certain vegetation adjusted for life v a restricted water supply (such as xerophytes) serve as solid indicators about rainfall distribution on Vieques. The development of xerophytes is widespread on the east side that the island wherein rainfall is minimal as opposed to the west side of the island wherein rainfall is an ext abundant.

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Major rainfall events producing considerable volumes the rain in Puerto Rico and also the outlying islands are brought about by among two climate mechanisms—the passage of one easterly wave or the passage of a cold front. Easterly waves generally occur throughout May come November through some having adequate intensity to evolve right into tropical storms and also (or) hurricanes. Cold fronts normally occur during November come April and may produce sufficient rainfall to reason flooding even throughout the period from December come March, which is a relatively dry period. The number of easterly waves or cold fronts passing over the region in any type of given year eventually determines whether the region experiences reasonably dry problems or wet conditions. Together a result, localized droughts occur yearly within many of the geographic locations of Puerto Rico.

References

Hydrogeology of Puerto Rico and also the Outlying archipelago of Vieques, Culebra, and Mona