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When is Hurricane Season in the Caribbean?

See average Caribbean weather in: January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December
The average Caribbean hurricane season may see as many as 12 to 20 named storms of which six could become hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The annual Caribbean hurricane season always increases the risk of a bad vacation because of the number of tropical storms and hurricanes that roll through the region between June and November every year.

Caribbean climate is especially bad in September and October because those months typically have the highest level of storm and hurricane activity each year.

Cruise ships typically avoid bad weather by steering around it.

Stopover visitors who stay at a destination for up to a week or more have a greater risk of experiencing a storm or hurricane.

But the odds of avoiding them are still good, even during the peak of the season.

Hurricane Season By Month

Caribbean Hurricane Season ChartThe following numbers are historical averages and will vary from year to year.

June: On average, one tropical storm develops every other year.

July: Three tropical storms develop, two become hurricanes and one becomes a major hurricane.

August: Three tropical storms develop during the month and two become hurricanes.

September: Four tropical storms develop, two become hurricanes and one becomes a major hurricane.

October: Four tropical storms develop, none of which become hurricanes.

November: The final month has fewer than one storm every other year.

High and Low Risk Islands

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Tropical storm and hurricane activity chart (Credit: NOAA)
Some destinations have higher risks than others.

On average, about 12 to 15 storms move through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico each year.

But individual destinations may avoid most of them because they lie outside of the storms' paths.

The southern ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao lie outside of the hurricane zone, which is why Aruba in particular has higher visits in September and October than most destinations.

However, it too experiences bad weather from nearby storms and hurricanes, and occasionally it is directly hit.

In the Atlantic Basin in 2010, a total of 19 named storms formed – tied with 1887 and 1995 for third highest on record, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Of those, 12 became hurricanes – tied with 1969 for second highest on record. Five of those reached major hurricane status of Category 3 or higher.

Average Storm Activity

  • June - 1 tropical storm
  • July - 3 storms, 2 become hurricanes
  • August - 3 storms, 2 become hurricanes
  • September - 4 storms, 2 become hurricanes
  • October - 4 storms, few rarely become hurricanes
  • November - infrequent storms

The 2007 season had 14 named storms, of which six became hurricanes. Two hurricanes became major, which is a category three or higher.

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