Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
St. Maarten

St. Maarten Hurricane Season

St. Maarten beach
Beaches like Great Bay are empty during the peak of the St. Maarten hurricane season. © 2017 Scott S. Bateman
St. Maarten weather is so beautiful that it attracts vacationers almost year round, but the annual hurricane season brings a higher risk of heavy rains and winds.

The official Caribbean hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30 each year. June and November have light activity with an average of one tropical storm and only rare hurricanes, according to historical data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Activity jumps in July and keeps climbing until reaching a high point in September and October. Caribbean tourism plunges during those months.

Hurricane Season Rainfall

St. Maarten rainfall
Rainfall reaches a high point in November. © 2017 Scott S. Bateman
Like the entire Caribbean, the St. Maarten hurricane season goes from June 1 to Nov. 30.

The average rainfall in June averages only two inches. July averages three inches, according to the Meteorological Service of Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.

Rainfall increases to four inches in August, five in September, four in October and six in November.

September and October are the worst months for tropical storm and hurricane activity in the Caribbean, the NOAA says. But for St. Maarten, November is the worst month of the season.

Caribbean tourism reaches a low point in September and increases slightly in October, the Caribbean Travel Organization says. St. Maarten tourism also reaches a low point during both months even though the island has more rain historically in November.

Hurricane Season Temperatures

St. Maarten average temperatures
St. Barth has the same temperatures as St. Maarten, which is only 15 miles away. © 2020 Scott S. Bateman
The average high ranges from 88 degrees Fahrenheit or about 31 Celsius in June and stays in the upper 80s Fahrenheit or low 30s Celsius through November, the meteorological service reports.

The average low temperatures during the night stay in the high 70s Fahrenheit during the entire season.

Seawater temperatures vary little from month to month and are comfortable for swimming throughout the season.

Best Times to Go

St. Maarten tourism statistics
St. Maarten tourism reaches a low point in September during hurricane season. © 2017 Scott S. Bateman
Hurricane season matters to families who like to vacation during summer breaks from school and want to visit the Caribbean.

June is the best month to visit St. Maarten during hurricane season and have the lowest risk of a tropical storm or nearby hurricane. July is the next best month, and November is the worst.

However, price is often a factor in vacations. Bad weather months usually mean fewer visitors and therefore lower prices for hotels, resorts and cruises.

St. Maarten is no different. Anyone interested in visiting the island during months with high levels of rain should consider travel insurance to lower the risk of bad weather.

About St. Maarten

This small island in the southeastern Caribbean Sea is shared between two countries -- France and the Netherlands. Sint Maarten is the Dutch half of the island. The French half is called Saint Martin.

It is part of a group of islands called the Netherland Antilles that also includes Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Eustatius and Saba.

The island is especially popular with cruise visitors who usually dock at the Dutch capital of Philipsburg. The city has a beach right by the dock plus plenty of shopping and dining that make for a pleasant half-day or full-day visit.

The French side of the island is mainly known for one of the most popular beaches in the Caribbean at Orient Beach. One reason for its popularity is that clothing is optional.

Whether visitors go to the Dutch half or the French half, the two sides share the same weather -- warm and sunny most of the year but quite rainy during part of the year. That's why it's so important to know the weather patterns and when to go.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category:

February 17, 2020
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