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Subject: G15) I'm vacationing in the Caribbean/the Bahamas/ Central America/Miami or elsewhere in the tropics during hurricane season. What's my chance of getting hit by a hurricane?"

Contributed by Chris Landsea

Typically, for someone visiting the tropics during June through November, the chance to experience (or even be threatened by) a hurricane is very small.


As an example, this figure shows the chances to have a direct hit by a hurricane during the month of September, which is usually the busiest month. If we look at Puerto Rico, the chance is 8% of experiencing a hurricane, if you are there for the WHOLE month. If you are there for, say, only a week, then the chance would be one fourth of that - or only about 2% chance.

To put this into perspective, if you made 50 one week trips to Puerto Rico in September, you would only experience a direct hit in ONE of those 50 visits. So the chances to get impacted by a hurricane are quite small for relatively short trips. (And the case chosen here is the WORST possible, as all other locations in all other months have smaller chances of being hit by a hurricane.) If you would like to see chances of hurricane strikes in other months, see Question G12.

Despite the chance being small, one should know in advance what your hotel's, cruise company's, etc. policy is for guests when a hurricane is coming, what actions they plan and what refund policies they have (if any). As is described above, a direct hit by a hurricane is a very rare event for a short visit and if I had a chance - for example - to go on a cruise in the Caribbean Sea during hurricane season, I would go without hesitation.

Last updated August 13, 2004

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