The year 2004 was one of the worst hurricane seasons in history, with 15 named storms and 9 of them hurricanes. As of August, the year 2005 has seen seven named storms, including two hurricanes. As additional tropical storms are predicted for the remainder of the 2005 hurricane season, you may be concerned about how this may affect a planned scuba diving vacation. The rock-bottom low-season rates that many tropical destinations offer are incredibly tempting for those scuba divers who love the brightly colored marine life that inhabit the warm waters, but buyer beware!
Hurricanes are typically seasonal. A little research is all it takes to ensure your scuba diving vacation is a fabulous underwater adventure.
The hurricane season varies geographically. The hurricane season in the Caribbean typically lasts from June 1 to November 30, with August being the peak month for storms. Not all islands in the Caribbean are in the usual trajectory for hurricanes; Bonaire, Aruba, Curacao and the Turks and Caicos are further south of the normal path and are less likely to be subject to hurricanes, during the Caribbean hurricane season. Some areas, such as the Western North Pacific Ocean, are prone to spontaneous hurricane development throughout the year. Other areas, such as the South Pacific Ocean are only at risk for one month of the year.
The key to ensuring your scuba diving vacation is not at risk of disaster due to hurricanes and other tropical nastiness is to check what time of the year hurricane season hits your scuba diving destination and plan to go elsewhere. Scuba diving operators may be unwilling to schedule a scuba dive during the lightest rainfall and most won't touch the water if weather conditions look volatile. Your scuba diving vacation could be terribly disappointing if you book during hurricane season and not a single scuba diving operator will bring you out into the ocean. It is best to not take the chance. Look at another scuba diving destination or wait until hurricane season has passed. If you're determined to visit your scuba diving destination of choice during hurricane season, you risk dangerous weather. Keep the following tips in mind:
When planning your scuba diving vacation, check the dates of the hurricane season and plan around those dates. Keep the following dates in mind when looking for your next scuba diving destination:
|Location||Hurricane Season Dates|
|North East Pacific Ocean (U.S. West Coast)||May 15 - November 30|
|North West Pacific Ocean||January - December (July to November main season)|
|South Pacific Ocean||November - April|
|North and West Australia||November - April|
|Western Atlantic Ocean||June - November|
|North Indian Ocean||April - June and September - December|
|South Indian Ocean||October - May|
Hurricanes are violent tropical storms with sustained winds of at least 74 mph, that can rate on a scale from Category 1 (74-95 mph winds with 4-5 ft. storm surge and minimal damage) to Category 5 (155+ mph winds with 18+ ft. storm surge and catastrophic damage).