Westmoreland-Location and Geography
Westmoreland is adjoined on the North by the parish of Hanover and on the East by
St. Elizabeth and St. James.
145,700 (ESSJ 2011)
Geography and Environment
Westmoreland, located at the west end of the island, boasts a maritime tropical climate. The parish experiences heavy rainfall from May to June and September to November. Due to slight seasonal changes in temperature and rainfall, affected by changes in elevation, winds are lighter here than in other areas of the island. Temperature fluctuates from an average low of 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit to an average high of 86.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Westmoreland has a combination of white limestone, marl, sand, gravel and coral reefs. The coastal areas in particular have loose sand, gravelly and deltaic deposits resulting from erosion. The parish bears a limestone plateau, coastal plains and interior valleys. The coastal plains are made up of alluvial deposits and cultivable lands. However, there are also large areas of swampland.
The popular Great Morass is a large swamp area, which covers thousands of acres. Plant and animal material have collected on this land over the centuries and is thereafter mined as peat – a great source of energy. The wetlands, common to the parish of Westmoreland, serve as a natural sanctuary to Jamaica’s wildlife.
The fertility and lush vegetation of the parish is greatly maintained by the various rivers and streams that are important sources of water. Lying on the Georges Plain, the parish is drained by the Cabaritta River, which is able to accommodate boats of up to eight tons for 19.3 km (12 miles) from its mouth.