Cuba lies in the tropics. Because it is located on the southwestern periphery of the North Atlantic high atmospheric pressure zone, its climate is influenced by the northeast trade winds in winter and by east-northeast winds in summer. The warm currents that form the Gulf Stream have a moderating influence along the coasts.
The annual mean temperature is 79 °F (26 °C), with little variation between January, the coolest month, at 73 °F (23 °C) and August, the warmest month, at 82 °F (28 °C). The November–April dry season abruptly changes to the May–October rainy season. Annual precipitation averages 54 inches (1,380 mm). From June to November the country is often exposed to hurricanes, whose strong winds and heavy rains can cause widespread damage and suffering.
Cuba is regularly hit by hurricanes during the summer and autumn. Of these, the Cuban hurricane of 1910 was particularly striking, affecting the island for 5 days. In July 2005, Hurricane Dennis killed 16 people, caused extensive damage, and more than 1.5 million people were forced to evacuate. With winds of 300 km / h, this latest hurricane has risen to category 4 of the Saffir-Simpson scale which has 5 categories. The 2008 hurricane season has had a major impact on the Cuban economy, especially agriculture and livestock: the destruction caused by cyclones is estimated by the leader Raúl Castro to 10 billion dollars (7.9 billion euros) 18 . 500,000 homes were affected, 156,000 hectares of sugar cane were destroyed and 500,000 were flooded. In the face of regular crisis situations caused by hurricanes, the Cuban people and the state have gained some experience and put in place logistics to protect people and property from the fairly frequent wild winds on the island. Ten major hurricanes hit Cuba between 1985 and 2004, causing only twenty-two deaths.
So when Cuba was hit by Hurricane George in 1998, there were only 4 dead against 600 in the other affected countries. Similarly Hurricane Charley of August 2004 caused 4 deaths in Cuba against 30 in Florida. For the head of the UN agency "International Straegy for Disaster Reduction" Mr. Salavano Briceno, this Cuban success is based on the importance of the educational and preventive effort made by the Cuban authorities. The quality of the Cuban rescue services was the subject of a specific forum during the "World Conference on Disaster Reduction" of January 2005.
The island located to the south of the tropic of cancer enjoys a tropical climate that is almost everywhere made pleasant by the trade winds. The average temperature is 25.5 ° C or 78 ° F. The ambient air is very humid. The dry season runs from November to April. August is the rainiest month. But it never rains more than forty-eight consecutive hours. © "United States" © Emmanuel Buchot and Encarta
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