Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center are predicting an “above-average” hurricane season for the Atlantic this year. According to NOAA’s estimates, there is a 65 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 10 percent chance of a below-normal season.
The NOAA attributes this above-average risk level to “several climate factors”.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and during this time NOAA is forecasting “a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).”
What Travelers Need to Know
There are certain areas where hurricanes and tropical storms are more likely to occur. The NOAA has a good map illustrating risk levels. If you’re concerned about weather impacting your trip, consider opting for one of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) where hurricanes rarely hit.
If you’re traveling to a tropical storm-prone area from June through November, consider booking fully refundable flights and accommodations in case you need to change your plans due to the forecast.
You may also want to purchase travel insurance for trips during hurricane season, which will cover your costs if you have to cancel your trip or leave early due to an impending storm. Travel insurance will also protect you if your destination becomes uninhabitable due to a hurricane that happens before your trip.
Buy your insurance as soon as you book your trip—if you purchase it after the storm is named, the policy will not cover storm-related claims.
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