Jamaica is located at 17° 22’ North latitude and 77° 30’ West longitude. It is approximately 10,981 km² in size and is the largest of the English speaking Caribbean Islands. It is comprised primarily of limestone (70% of the island) with some igneous and metamorphic rock. The limestone base has produced distinct karst topography, created by the dissolution of the limestone material, giving rise to many caves and sinkholes on the island. This topography is particularly well developed in Trelawny in an area referred to as the Cockpit country, consisting of steep conical hills interspersed by deep hollows. The island is dominated by a central ridge with the highest peak in the Blue Mountains at maximum elevation of 2,256 m.
Jamaica experiences a tropical marine climate. The country’s average annual temperature is around 27°C. Rainfall varies based on topography where the island’s central ridge area receives over 2000mm of rainfall per annum while the southern coastal plain receives less than 1000mm in some areas. The Blue Mountains receive over 3000mm of rainfall annually. Jamaica experiences a rainy and dry season with driest period lasting from December to March. Jamaica is in the Hurricane belt and frequently experiences hurricanes and tropical storms which result in severe flooding events and landslides. Recent hurricanes to hit Jamaica were Ivan in 2004, Dean in 2007 and Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.