Trade Winds in the Caribbean
The Caribbean is one of the few places in the world where wind direction can be predicted with relative certainty. Due to the rotation of the earth and the Coriolis Effect, the whole area is blessed with an Easterly trade wind, so called because it used to bring the trade ships from Europe. The trade winds fluctuate in strength and tend to be strongest around December and January (the Christmas Winds), and weaker and less stable during June to November.
Hurricane Season: 1st June to 30th November
For more information on hurricane formation in the Atlantic, please take a look at the Captain’s Log post here.
The Best Time to Go Sailing in the Caribbean
The best time to travel to the Caribbean is outside the Hurricane Season which officially runs from 1st June to 30th November each year. Hurricanes have been known to occur just outside of these dates, however, so you will still need to keep an eye on the Caribbean weather forecast if you’re planning to sail here in May and December.
Between December and May is the “Dry Season” when you can expect a low chance of rainfall, and any showers that you do have will be short lived.
Sailing the Caribbean during Hurricane Season
Even if you choose to travel to the Caribbean in Hurricane Season, the chance of your location receiving a direct hit from a hurricane is slim. Most of the time, the Caribbean islands are receiving their usual dose of sunshine and high temperature, albeit with a little more rain.
If you’re choosing to sail in the Caribbean in hurricane season there are now quite sophisticated websites providing excellent information on potential weather systems which may or may not cause a hurricane. So even if you can’t change the path of a hurricane, you can at least get out of the way of it! The hurricane prediction systems track the weather system as it forms in the Atlantic and there is normally a 2 to 3 day warning period of any dangers.