Karrie Williams – Cruise Contributor

The Bahamas hurricane season starts officially on the 1st of June each year and ends on November 30th of the same year.

Hurricanes are quite common in the Caribbean as much of the region is governed by a tropical climate. The significance of the climate lies in the fact that a hurricane is dependable on warm waters to develop and strengthen in its velocity, therefore rendering the Caribbean susceptible to their formation.

Half Moon Cay

In the case of the Bahamas, the islands are classified under a subtropical climate which makes the region warm and sunny year round. On average, temperatures range between 27-29°C (80-85°F).

Historically, the Bahamas hurricane season has produced very few hurricanes on an annual basis. In fact, the average forecast for a serious hurricane making land fall in the Bahamas is once every twelve years and three years for a threat.

Usually some islands are worst affected by a hurricane than others; notably Andros, Abaco, Grand Bahama and Cat Island. Irene, which is the most recent hurricane to affect the Bahamas, occurred back in August of 2011, causing significant damages across several outer islands but namely Cat Island.

Although several homes across these islands were significantly damaged or obliterated; there was no reported loss of lives.
So how safe is it to travel to the islands during the Bahamas hurricane season?
It is consciously safe to travel to the Bahamas during the months of June to November each year. Although hurricane Irene caused significant damages in 2011, hurricanes are generally rare.

Tourists can also take comfort in the fact that Bahamas hoteliers have instituted a policy which guarantees an immediate refund for anyone who cancels a reservation during a hurricane episode. If you are already arrived, then you’ll receive a special low rate compensation.

Of course, it is also wise to keep up to date with the current weather forecasts to find out if a hurricane or tropical storm will be affecting the Bahamas during your visit.

Still if you happen to be in the Bahamas or anywhere else during a hurricane, it is wise to be aware of a few helpful hurricane preparedness tips:
•    Ensure that your travel insurance is up-to-date and comes with a hurricane indemnity
•    Stock up on canned food and bottled water
•    Stay indoors and avoid open spaces especially where there are a lot of trees
•    Ensure that your cellphones are charged up and that you have sufficient batteries for all other necessary electrical appliances

If you are on a cruise destined for the Bahamas during the hurricane season, you need not be too worried as cruise ships will change their itineraries whenever there are any inclement weather threats.

So there you have it, a bit of vital info regarding the Bahamas hurricane season. Travel safe and do have yourselves a blast when you get to the Bahamas!