Let us initially express our sympathy to all those who have experienced injury (or worse) and distress following the recent spate of hurricanes in the Caribbean.
We had very few clients in the region at the time as frankly, we do clearly state that the mid-summer months (and especially the end of August / first two weeks September) can be prone to tropical storms and even hurricanes. Usually, by late September the pattern becomes more settled, although in recent years some hurricanes have even been experienced in November, that is rare.
We have personal experience of living in the Caribbean, and both DK and MH at Chic still have family residing on several islands. We are aware of the realities of travelling at this time – you can be lucky but you will usually get more heavy rain / high seas at the very least. If relative low cost is important, travelling in June or early autumn can be good value as you do get some good air and hotel deals as most hotels have extra capacity! The air fares are less good mid-July to mid-August, usually some of the highest of the year, but this is influenced by the high demand VFR (visiting friends and relatives) market segment, clients whose main priority is reconnecting with family.
We seem to be the exception in detailing the weather patterns. Most of the other operators have “Essential information“ which includes travel times, no visa required, even the best restaurants, but very little on the weather. Some do show a month by month weather chart which does show heavy rainfall, but that only tells you part of the story.
The Hurricane belt generally runs in a curve from Trinidad in the south through to the Florida Keys in the north. Most of the Caribbean islands are within this belt, with possibly the exception of Barbados which is located off to east. It tends to get high winds and rain but to my knowledge has only been hit by one in 1980.
We have a limited programme to the islands, essentially covering Barbados, Saint Lucia, Dominica & Grenada and Antigua. All of these are fully operational (as of 8 September), with only Antigua taking some of the force of hurricane Irma. Things on the island are returning to normality with a clean-up operation. We do not have any clients in Cuba and at the time of writing, we are awaiting updates going forward. Of course, this does not lessen our concern and sympathy with those on the islands north of Antigua up to Florida who seems to have been badly hit.
Sadly, hurricane season in the Caribbean still remains active. We just received a list of islands that are being monitored.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Sint Maarten
* St. Martin
* St. Barthelemy
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Barbuda and Anguilla
* Saba and St. Eustatius
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* British Virgin Islands
* St. Thomas and St. John
Refer to the National Hurricane Center for further updates.