Puerto Rico is a rectangle-shaped island, situated about in the center of the Antilles, a chain that islands the stretches native Florida to Venezuela and also forms the dividing line between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The Antilles are split into 2 regions—Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles. Puerto Rico is the smallest and easternmost island the the better Antilles, which include Cuba, Hispañola (Dominican Republic and also Haiti), and also Jamaica. In enhancement to the main island, which is 111 miles east to west and also 36 miles north come south, Puerto Rico comprises several tiny archipelago or cayos, including Mona and also Desecheo turn off the west coast and Vieques, Culebra, Palomino, Icacos, and also others off the eastern coast. The northern and also eastern shores that Puerto Rico space on the Atlantic Ocean, and also the southern shores space on the Caribbean Sea. Come the west is Mona Passage, an essential shipping lane that is 75 miles vast and 3,300 feet deep.
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Two far-reaching things taken place as a an outcome of all this geologic activity. The Puerto Rico Trench was formed off the island’s phibìc coast. In ~ its greatest depth, that is 28,000 feet listed below sea level, making the the deepest allude known in the Atlantic Ocean. Secondly, it created the mountainous main point of Puerto Rico that spans virtually the whole island from east to west and reaches heights of 4,390 feet over sea level. Volcanic task is believed to have been dormant in Puerto Rico for 45 million years, but the planet is constantly changing. The Caribbean key is changing eastward versus the westward-shifting north American plate, which has actually resulted in occasional earth tremors with the years. Although this task is suspected to have led to the volcanic task in Montserrat in recent years, its hazard to Puerto Rico is that is potential to reason earthquakes, not volcanic activity.
Puerto Rico has actually three main geographical regions: mountains, seaside lowlands, and karst country. Much more than 60 percent the the island is mountainous. The island’s mountains, which overcome the island’s interior, comprise four ranges: Cordillera Central, Sierra de Cayey, Sierra de Luquillo, and Sierra de Bermeja. The largest and highest range is Cordillera Central, i m sorry spans native Caguas in the east to Lares in the west. That is highest suggest is Cerro Punta (4,390 feet above sea level), in the Bosque Estatal de Toro Negro near Jayuya. Sierra de Luquillo is in the northeast and contains the Caribbean nationwide Forest, residence to El Yunque rainforest. This two mountain ranges feature dramatic spicy peaks and lush tropical vegetation. Sierra de Cayey, in the southeast in between Cayey and Humacao, and also Sierra de Bermeja, in the southwest between Guánica and also the island’s southwestern tip, are smaller in area and also height, drier, and less forested.
The coastal lowlands span an ext than 300 miles roughly the pickled in salt of the island, 8-12 mile inland in the north and 2-8 miles inland in the south. Formed through time through erosion of the mountains, the coastal lowlands room important agricultural areas that benefit from the wealthy soil and also water the wash down from the mountains. Lot of the area is characterized by sandy or rocky beaches and also mangrove swamps, back the mangrove forests are being whittled far by development.
The island’s third region is unique. The karst region spans the island’s northern interior, from mountain Juan in the east to Aguadilla in the west, and the southern interior, native Ponce in the east to mountain Germán in the west. The can likewise be uncovered in secluded pockets throughout the island, as well as on Mona Island off the west coast. The karst region is identified by a fascinating landscape of sinkholes, cliffs, caves, and conical, haystack-shaped hills called mogotes. More than 27 percent of Puerto Rico’s surface ar is comprised of limestone, and its erosion native rain helped produce the beguiling patchwork of hills and also holes. One of limestone’s distinctive properties is the it reprecipitates and also forms case rock that is impervious come chemical and also climatic change, which has actually basically frozen the strange formations in time. In addition, water developed by reprecipitation bubbles approximately hydrate the earth’s surface, and also drips down, developing subterranean rivers and also caves.
As a result of that is karst region, Puerto Rico has some that the most far-reaching cave equipment in the west hemisphere and the third-largest underground river, Río Camuy. The public can tour part of the massive cavern system in ~ Las Cavernas del Río Camuy in the municipality of Camuy.
In enhancement to Río Camuy, Puerto Rico’s other major rivers incorporate the north-running Grande de Arecibo, the island’s longest; La Plata, Cibuco, Loíza, and also Bayamón, which run north; and also Grande de Añasco, which runs west. There room no herbal lakes in Puerto Rico, although 15 reservoirs have actually been developed by damming rivers. But there are several organic lagoons, consisting of Condado and also San José in san Juan, Piñones and also Torrecilla in Loíza, Joyuda in Cabo Rojo, Tortuguero in Vega Baja, and Grande in Fajardo.
Puerto Rico’s climate is classified together tropical marine, which means it’s typically sunny, hot, and humid year-round. The temperature fluctuates in between 76°F and also 88°F in the seaside plains and also 73-78°F in the mountains. Humidity is a stable 80 percent, yet a northeasterly wind keeps things pretty breezy, particularly on the northeast side of the island.
Nobody desires rain during a dry vacation, yet precipitation is really much a part of life in Puerto Rico. Back there room periods when the deluge is so hefty that you could think that time to construct an ark, rains are normally brief and also occur in the afternoons. The average yearly rainfall is 62 inches. Although it rain throughout the year, the most heavy precipitation is from may to October, i m sorry is likewise hurricane season. The driest duration is January to April, which synchronizes with the tourism industry’s high season. Save in mind that the north shore receives double as lot rain as the southern coast, so if the outlook is merganser in mountain Juan, head south.
Hurricanes are a an extremely real risk to Puerto Rico. The is estimated that the island will be fight by a major hurricane every 30 years. The most destructive storm in recent history was Hurricane Georges, a classification 3 storm the struck in September 1998 and rendered $2 exchange rate of damage.
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For the latest info on weather problems in Puerto Rico, visit the National Weather Service.