Low season in the Caribbean is an ideal time to pick up some of the best-priced holiday and cruise deals. However, it is the time of year when hurricanes are most likely to strike. While your chances of encountering a hurricane are slim, there are a few things you should know before you travel.
In simple terms, hurricanes occur when warm water and warm air collide, the warm air rises and condenses when it touches cooler air, causing storm clouds and rain. The first stage of the process is named tropical depression. It becomes a tropical storm when wind speeds reach 39-73 mph, and once wind velocity is above 74 mph, it is classified as a hurricane.
The official Atlantic hurricane season runs from 1 June to 30 November, though hurricanes do very rarely occur outside of this window -- this is Mother Nature at work, after all. On average, there are between eight and 12 tropical storms each year, with five to seven turning into fully fledged hurricanes.
The Eastern Caribbean islands -- including Antigua, Dominica, St Kitts, St Lucia and St Vincent -- are most at risk from mid-August to mid-September, whereas the Western Caribbean -- including Jamaica, St Maarten and Grand Cayman -- is more prone from early September to early November. Islands such as Aruba, Bonaire, Barbados and Curaçao are less susceptible to storms and hurricanes, as they are located south of the hurricane belt, as are Trinidad and Tobago.
Click here for a better idea of the islands most at risk. Again, though, this is Mother Nature, so nothing is 100% predictable.