Climate

The weather is gorgeous almost every day of the year, with average temperatures of around 82° Fahrenheit, Trade winds keep the local humidity to a minimum. Like many of their Caribbean neighbors, Puerto Ricans routinely wake up and regard the sparkling sun and the tropical sea with a yawn and the adage, "Just another day in paradise." However, there are actual seasons on the island - the wet season (June through October) and a dry season (November through May), which are most evident in the mountainous and western areas. In general, the South Coast is driest. The East Coast is also predictably dry most days year-round. But you can get rained on any time of the year in the mountains. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Puerto Rico was 42° Fahrenheit, measured near Aibonito in 1911. The west tends to get more downpours during the wet season, when you can bank on a couple hours of heavy rain each afternoon. Otherwise, it's also blessed with glorious sunshine.

As in the rest of the Caribbean, the meteorological celebrity known as the hurricane puts Puerto Rican property owners on edge from mid-June until mid-November. Hurricanes form in the doldrums, a narrow equatorial belt of the Atlantic and Caribbean waters, and can move northwest, north or northeast. They often claim islands of the Antilles as their first victims. Tropical storms officially become hurricanes when wind velocity exceeds 74 mph, and are categorized by strength from one to five. A category five hurricane has wind velocities of more than 155 mph, and generally rips apart anything in its path. Hurricane Hugo caused severe damage to Puerto Rico in 1989, and parts of the island have yet to recover from destruction wreaked by Hurricane Georges in 1998.

DID YOU KNOW! The word hurricane" comes from the Taino deity Jurikan, the god of destructive winds.

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