When Is the Hurricane Season in Caribbean? Read this before You Travel!
When Is Hurricane Season and What Is It?
The Atlantic hurricane season, which coincides with the hurricane season in the Caribbeans, is the conventional name for the annual period of most intense hurricane formation in the middle part of the northern half of the Atlantic Ocean region, which affects most of the islands in that part of the world. Tropical cyclones that form in this area are called hurricanes, tropical storms, or tropical depressions, depending on their intensity, which ranges from weak to devastating. You should never travel to the Caribbean when the strongest hurricanes are raging, as they pose a significant danger to your life.
During the season, all meteorological services in the region, especially from the U.S., actively monitor wind activity. It is officially accepted that the hurricane season runs from the beginning of June until the end of November. The peak hurricane season in the Caribbean is considered to be September 10-12, as this period is when the most dangerous hurricanes usually are.
How Does Hurricane Season in the Caribbean Start?
Hurricanes usually originate off the coast of Africa as tropical storms and move toward the Caribbean, gradually increasing in strength and size. When they reach the islands, hurricanes are usually in their infancy, so most often they manifest themselves only as heavy torrential rains or strong wind. As they get closer to the shores of America, hurricanes reach their highest intensity, entailing terrible disasters and often many deaths. This is mostly because the houses in the USA coasts and some other Caribbean Sea islands are like cardboard boxes.
On the other hand, in Dominica, when it is the hurricane season for the Caribbean, people are prepared, as most houses are built to withstand even the strongest hurricanes. As we have already mentioned, the Caribbean islands hurricane season lasts from beginning of June to the end of November. About 97% of hurricanes of the year happen during these months.
Noticeably, the hurricane season in the Caribbean islands is at its most active from August through October, with tropical storms in over 78% of the days,mild hurricanes in 87% of the days, ,and major ones in 96% of the days. The hottest time, which is the Caribbean peak season, is usually early- to midSeptember.
But, as we know, nature does not use calendars, maps, or other means of measurement. The hurricane seasons can shift from year to year, as well as the sheer number and quality of hurricanes and storms, along with the path they take.
What Are the Most Dangerous Regions of the Caribbean in Terms of Hurricanes?
When it is the Atlantic or Caribbean hurricane season, nature hits the small Eastern Caribbean islands the hardest, because they are right in the path of the hurricanes. A couple of years ago, during the hurricane season, the southern Caribbean island of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) was hit hard, and the Virgin Islands also suffered a lot. In 2017, Hurricane Irma destroyed the islands of St. Maarten and Barbuda. Inhabitants of those islands would remember the 2017 hurricane season in the Caribbean for the rest of their life. The problem with these islands is that there is nowhere to flee to, or escape, or evacuate. Hence the great destruction and even deaths are brought by every hurricane season in the Caribbean.
But serious hurricanes don’t happen there every year. If you look at a map, you can see that the hurricanes move more tangentially and hit Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, nearby islands like the Bahamas and the coastal parts of the United States. The United States of America is the second most hurricane-prone region after the small Caribbean islands.
That is why U.S. scientists track all updates during the hurricane season in the Caribbean. Regardless of its trajectory, most hurricanes end up there. However, the undoubted pro of the States is that there is where to evacuate to! Simply get on a car or public transportation, and you are already out of the danger zone in less than an hour . The next most dangerous place during the Southern Caribbean hurricane season in Puerto Rico. Even hurricanes heading for the U.S. can still hit this island pretty hard. On the other hand, the Dominican Republic and Cuba are hit relatively rarely. Severe hurricanes on these coasts occur on average once every 5-10 years, and hurricanes of destructive power are even rarer.
The calmest situation in terms of natural disasters during the Caribbean hurricane season is on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. Hurricanes rarely reach it. If they do, they lose their power. The last time there was a hurricane on the Caribbean coast of Mexico was in the 2005. Aruba, Curaçao, Jamaica, and other islands in the western, southern, and central Caribbean, which are outside the path of most tropical storms and hurricanes. These islands are lucky enough not to be devastated by these powerful storms.
How Do You Track Hurricanes?
In this age of space technology, it’s super easy to follow all the Caribbean storm season updates: you just need to log on to Twitter or Facebook once in a while. There, in any local group, you can immediately see some hint of something more serious than a tropical cyclone. You can subscribe to groups of locals or weather stations and read the news every day about how another cyclone is gaining power in the Atlantic, where it’s headed.
The precise information about the number of hurricanes during the hurricane season for Caribbean inhabitants is published every year.And if a tropical cyclone develops into a hurricane and has the potential to affect some of the Caribbean countries, then publications about it appear immediately in all English-language groups. From then on, forecasts about the trajectory and strength of the hurricane are updated every few hours. And at this point, it’s still about five days before the hurricane arrives in the country. So, you will still have time to react quickly and evacuate.
How to Stay Safe During the Hurricane Season in Caribbean Islands?
If two or three days before the arrival of the hurricane, forecasts broadcast the highest category and tell about the danger – that’s when you can think about saving your life. If you do not have Facebook – you will learn about the approaching disaster, as all the residents and hotel staff will know about it, the preparation for the apocalypse will not go unnoticed for you! The area is large and there is no danger. The Dominican Republic, Cuba – also pretty easy. Hurricanes rarely hit these countries and the territory is quite large, there are almost always safe areas to evacuate in advance. In the case of Hurricane Irma, whoever needed to – calmly went inland a couple of days before it came. Small Caribbean islands are a problem.
Tourists with children, elderly people, and those who are just scared should leave right away. At the same time, it is advisable not to drag it out to the last minute, and 2-3 days before boarding the plane. Those who wish to take the chance can try and survive the disaster in a solid concrete building, preferably not on the first floor, and away from the windows. By the way, did you know that there are special extreme tours in which, right before the hurricane, tourists are brought specifically to watch the hurricane? If the hurricane is not expected to be the highest category or just a tropical storm, then in general, everything is simple: close all windows and do not go out if necessary.
To sum up, it’s not that dangerous to go the Caribbean during hurricane season. Even though hurricane season happens every year and lasts for six months, in most cases they are just photos of cyclones crossing the Atlantic ocean without affecting travelers. The chances of being in the Caribbean at the time of the passage of the hurricane of the highest category is very low. Just check the information beforehand and pack your bags!