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Caribbean Hurricane Season - Predictions for Each Island

See average Caribbean weather in: January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December
Forecasters are predicting that the 2015 Caribbean hurricane season will be one of the least active since the mid 20th century.

The probability of one hurricane tracking into the Caribbean during the year is 22 percent versus an historical average of 42 percent, climatologists at the University of Colorado said on April 9.

For the Atlantic Basin as a whole, they predict seven named storms and three hurricanes with one hurricane becoming a major category 3, 4 or 5. The predictions are based on an analysis of 29 years of historical data.

The low activity will be the result of cooler than normal temperatures followed by a moderate El Niño event (warmer than normal temperatures).

The predictions include the following with 1981-2010 averages in parentheses followed by the forecast for 2015:

  • Named Storms (NS) (12.0) 7
  • Named Storm Days (NSD) (60.1) 30
  • Hurricanes (H) (6.5) 3
  • Hurricane Days (HD) (21.3) 10
  • Major Hurricanes (MH) (2.0) 1
  • Major Hurricane Days (MHD) (3.9) 0.5

The forecasters also made predictions about Caribbean islands:

For the island of Puerto Rico, the probability of a named storm, hurricane and major hurricane tracking within 50 miles of the island this year is 16%, 7%, and 2%, respectively.

Country% 1 or More Named Storms Track Within 50 Miles% 1 or More Hurricanes Track Within 50 Miles% 1 or More Major Hurricanes Track Within 50 Miles% 1 or More Named Storms Track Within 100 Miles% 1 or More Hurricanes Track Within 100 Miles% 1 or More Major Hurricanes Track Within 100 Miles
Cayman Islands18%10%4%25%14%4%
Costa Rica1%0%<1%4%2%1%
Dominican Republic22%13%4%31%16%6%
Netherlands Antilles3%0%<1%7%2%1%
Puerto Rico16%7%2%27%14%6%
Saint Kitts14%8%2%24%13%5%
Saint Lucia14%3%0%23%5%2%
Saint Vincent17%3%1%23%4%1%
Turks and Caicos14%6%3%25%12%4%
UK Virgin Islands16%7%2%26%13%5%
US Virgin Islands17%7%2%27%15%6%

"Everyone should realize that it is impossible to precisely predict this season’s hurricane activity in early April. ... Our new early April statistical forecast methodology shows strong evidence over 29 past years that significant improvement over climatology can be attained. We would never issue a seasonal hurricane forecast unless we had a statistical model developed over a long hindcast period which showed significant skill over climatology," the forecasters said.

See 7-Day Forecasts for Every Island

2014 Hurricane Season

2014 hurricane season mapEight named storms formed in the Caribbean region during the 2014 hurricane season, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Six of the storms turned into hurricanes and two of them developed into major hurricanes.

From 1981 to 2010, the region averaged 12 named storms a year. On average, six of them each year developed into hurricanes and three of those turned into major hurricanes.

As a result, the number of named storms was below average during 2014, but the number of hurricanes and major hurricanes was about average.

The hurricane center also measures accumulated cyclone energy, which is the combined strength and duration of tropical storms and hurricanes. The 2014 energy level was only about 63 percent of the average from 1981 to 2010.

NameDatesMax wind (mph)
Hurricane Arthur1-5 jul100
Tropical depression two21-23 jul35
Hurricane Bertha1-6 aug80
Hurricane Cristobal23-29 aug85
Tropical Storm Dolly1-3 sep50
Major hurricane Edouard11-19 sep115
Hurricane Fay10-13 oct75
Major hurricane Gonzalo12-19 oct145
Tropical storm Hanna22-28 oct40
November did not have any named storms. On average, a named storm develops during November in seven out of 10 years. In one out of every two years in November, a storm develops into a hurricane.

Hurricane Season Averages

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 Hurricane Season ChartCaribbean 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

See average Caribbean temperatures and rainfall by destination in:
- January
- February
- March
- April
- May
- June
- July
- August
- September
- October
- November
- December
The 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.

Eastern Caribbean Weather Email
Western Caribbean Weather Email

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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