CARIBBEAN WEATHER TRENDS
Updated: Nov 3, 2019
CARIBBEAN WEATHER TIPS
The Caribbean weather can be a sailor´s paradise or quickly turn into a disaster without proper planning. The daytime temperatures are normally mid 80´s F in most Caribbean destinations for most of the year. Rainfall is unpredictable and the best months to visit the Caribbean is April, June, July when there is minimal rainfall and the best warm temperatures. Hurricane Season runs from 1 June to 30 November every year. The ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) have the least rain in the Caribbean. May brings a brief rainy season in a lot of Caribbean destinations. September and October are the worst months to visit the Caribbean, as it´s high risk months for tropical storms and hurricanes. December to February, it´s recommended to stay in the Southern Caribbean; such as Antigua, Barbados and St Lucia.
Late Spring, Summer and Autumn, tropical storms are known to form in the Atlantic, off the African continent and they move west towards the Caribbean. As they approach America, they tend to swerve right and follow numerous paths over the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico, often reaching the east of USA, as far as Canada or Europe.
Once a tropical storm forms, it can grow into a hurricane in a matter of days, as it gains momentum over water. The Caribbean can have 12 to 15 major storms each year. Out of these, 4 or 5 will develop into hurricanes. A hurricane can drop back to a tropical storm in a few days, before it disappears. Luckily for us sailor´s, the Atlantic weather forecasts are watched closely and are reliable, because the weather usually follows the same predictable patterns.Hurricane season usually starts off slow, builds up over the Summer and peaks in early September, which is why most of us yachties take our vacation in September. Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
Once a tropical storm forms, it can grow into a hurricane in a matter of days, as it gains momentum over water. The Caribbean can have 12 to 15 major storms each year. Out of these, 4 or 5 will develop into hurricanes. A hurricane can drop back to a tropical storm in a few days, before it disappears. The Bahamas is one of the most hurricane prone countries in the Caribbean.
There´s a 45% chance that a hurricane will approach within 50 miles of the Bahamas. 3 out of 4 tropical storms, will come close to the Bahamas. These tropical storms and hurricanes usually hit the northern Bahamas. The southern Bahamas is less likely to see severe storms, however it is possible.
In an average year, about 10 tropical storms will form in the Atlantic. In 2005, 28 formed, and 4 of them—Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma—became devastating hurricanes.
DISASTER KIT TOP TIP
Your basic emergency supply kit should include: Water, one gallon per person per day, for at least 3 days for drinking and sanitation Non perishable food for at least 3 days Battery powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both Flashlight and extra batteries First Aid Kit Whistle to signal for help Dust mask to help filter contaminated air Plastic sheeting/tarp duct tape, to create shelter Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for sanitation Wrench or pliers to turn your utilities off Local maps Can opener for tinned food Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
RECOMMENDED WEATHER LINKS
Having worked in the Caribbean for many years, here´s a list of recommended weather links that I use daily. I have found them to be very reliable weather sources.
National Hurricane Center (www.nhc.noaa.gov) Passage Weather (www.passageweather.com) Wind Guru (www.windguru.cz) Tropical Tidbits (www.tropicaltidbits.com)