Hurricane Season in the Caribbean
Hurricanes are powerful storms that can wreak havoc on coastal areas. When hurricanes hit, they bring heavy rains, strong winds, and sometimes tornadoes. The damage caused by these storms can last for months after the storm has passed.
While hurricanes aren't common in the Caribbean, they do occur every few years. In fact, the most recent major hurricane to strike the region was Hurricane Irma, which struck the islands of Barbuda, St. Martin, Anguilla, and Saint Barthelemy in 2017.
In general, hurricane seasons begin in June and end in November. However, tropical cyclones tend to form between May and October. As a result, hurricane season runs from June through November each year.
There are several factors that contribute to whether or not a hurricane forms. These include ocean temperatures, wind shear, and atmospheric pressure. Ocean temperatures play a large role in determining where hurricanes form. Warm water helps fuel hurricanes, while cooler waters prevent them from forming. Wind shear refers to the difference in speed between two different air masses. Air masses of equal temperature can move at different speeds if they're moving over different altitudes. Atmospheric pressure plays a key role in creating hurricanes. Low pressures allow warm moist air to rise into the atmosphere, causing thunderstorms and eventually hurricanes.
How to Avoid Caribbean Hurricane Season
Before you plan a trip to the Caribbean, make sure to learn about local weather patterns and storm warnings. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have a handy guide that explains how to avoid hurricane season and what to do if you're caught in one.
While you're learning about tropical storms, make sure to read up on other types of natural disasters too. Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, and wildfires can also affect the Caribbean. Make sure to follow the news closely to learn about any potential threats.
Spots Most Likely to Be Hit
Hurricanes are unpredictable, and no one knows exactly where they will hit next. However, certain spots tend to be more vulnerable to hurricanes than others. These areas include coastal regions, low-lying islands, and small island nations.
To determine whether these places are most likely to be affected by a hurricane, look at the intensity of storms that occur in each area. The stronger the storm, the greater the chance that it will affect these locations.
In addition, consider the size of the population living in each region. Smaller populations are less able to prepare for a disaster, making them more susceptible to damage from a storm.
Lastly, look at the location of the landmass itself. Islands are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes because they lack the protection provided by large bodies of water. As a result, they can experience much higher wind speeds and rainfall.
It is important to remember that hurricanes are always a risk, not just during the official hurricane season. Because of this, it is essential to ensure that one is ready for everything. It is in your best financial interest to purchase travel insurance regardless of where in the globe you intend to vacation, including the Caribbean.
Having travel insurance protects you against unforeseen occurrences while you are travelling in another country. It pays for things like medical expenditures, emergency evacuation, and lost baggage, as well as other costs related to travel.
There is a wide variety of travel insurance coverage to choose from, so it is in your best interest to look around for the most affordable option. Verify that the policy covers all of the expenses you anticipate, such as travel, lodging, transportation, and activities. Consider other possible add-ons such as cancellation costs and coverage for trip interruptions as well.
Consider applying for a credit card that provides protection for travellers if you are concerned about the possibility of becoming financially stuck while travelling. In the event that you misplace your wallet or run out of money, you can get this emergency cash help through these cards. Some companies will even reimburse you for your airfare and accommodation expenses.
Even if you will be travelling outside of hurricane season, there are always steps you can take to protect yourself from natural disasters.
Travel Medical Insurance
Hurricanes aren't just a problem for Americans living along the Gulf Coast; they can affect anyone who travels to the Caribbean during hurricane season. Travellers can protect themselves against hurricanes by purchasing travel medical insurance.
Medical coverage typically includes emergency evacuation services, hospitalization, and other expenses related to treatment. It may also include coverage for lost baggage, trip cancellation, and other travel inconveniences.
Hotel and Airline Cancellation Policy Basics
Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th each year. During this period, hurricanes tend to occur more frequently, making it difficult for travellers to plan trips during this time. However, if you're planning a vacation to the Caribbean, you can still enjoy yourself without worrying about potential cancellations or delays.
To avoid being stranded in the event of a storm, book your flight and hotel reservations early. It's best to book your travel plans at least six months in advance, especially if you're travelling during peak hurricane season.
Also, consider cancelling your trip if you notice signs of a developing tropical system. The National Hurricane Center provides real-time alerts about storms, including warnings and advisories. If you decide to cancel your trip, you'll receive a refund minus a $100 cancellation fee.
In addition to avoiding cancellations, you can also protect yourself against other types of disruptions. For example, many airlines require passengers to pay for checked bags in advance. Make sure to purchase these items before leaving home to avoid having to pay extra fees upon arrival.
Lastly, if you're flying into the Caribbean, make sure to pack light. While you may feel safe carrying large amounts of luggage, you could face additional charges if you exceed the weight limit.
Even though Barbados has never been struck by a big hurricane head-on, the island is nonetheless susceptible to tropical storms and other types of severe weather. In point of fact, Hurricane Dean made landfall on Barbados in September of 2014, triggering flooding and knocking out power.
In addition to hurricanes, tropical storms can occur in Barbados. Tropical storms are very similar to hurricanes, with the exception that they do not have wind speeds that are greater than 74 miles per hour. These storms often have a duration of fewer than 24 hours and have very little impact on the land.
Because of its location in Zone B2 of the Atlantic hurricane zone, the likelihood of a hurricane making landfall on the island of Barbados is rather low. On the other hand, if a storm were to form in the Atlantic Ocean, it is conceivable that it would travel close enough to Barbados for it to produce intense precipitation and severe winds.
Although Bonaire is not directly threatened by tropical cyclones, the island does experience high gusts and intense rainfall whenever there is activity from tropical storms.
In addition to being susceptible to the effects of storms, the island of Bonaire is also prone to earthquakes. In point of fact, Bonaire was hit by two significant earthquakes in the year 2010. These earthquakes could be felt across a significant portion of the island. Fortunately, neither of the earthquakes was particularly destructive. Nevertheless, homeowners should make preparations to leave their homes in the event of a significant earthquake.
The island of Curacao is one of those rare places in the Caribbean where hurricanes rarely make landfall. During hurricane season, the island of Curacao experiences temperatures that are often higher than average. This is because hurricanes in other parts of the world are sucking up all of the wind, which means there is less wind in this area, which results in an increase in temperature.
Hurricanes make very infrequent landfall on Grenada. Only four storms have ever made landfall on the Caribbean island nation of Grenada during hurricane season. You have sufficient time to sail south away from the hurricane's route in the event that it is predicted to impact the island.
Other islands outside the hurricane belt
In addition to Curacao, other populated islands in the Caribbean that are located outside of the hurricane belt include Aruba, Bonaire, Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Providencia Island, San Andrés, and the islands that are located off of Venezuela.
Hurricane season begins June 1st each year and lasts until November 30th. The peak of hurricane season usually occurs between August and October. While hurricanes aren't common in the Caribbean, they still happen from time to time. In fact, the most recent major hurricane to hit the region was Hurricane Irma, which struck on September 6th 2017.