Western Caribbean hurricanes differ from the eastern Caribbean storms in that they are generally less violent and less likely as well. The overall hurricane season for western Caribbean islands is the same as the whole region, but the peak season is slightly later than in the eastern parts—mid-September through October.
The western Caribbean islands include Hispaniola (home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, and central American nations such as Belize and Honduras.
Learning a few Caribbean hurricane facts can help vacationers decide whether a visit to the Caribbean during this time of year is right for them. Since the pattern of tropical storms is such that they develop first in the ocean, all of the hurricanes that occur in this region run along similar routes, either turning north toward the southern United States, crossing the northern border of the Caribbean towards the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, or taking a southward turn towards Central America and crossing straight through the Caribbean Islands.
The chance of western Caribbean hurricanes occurring during peak season is roughly 20 percent, but that doesn’t mean the area should be totally avoided, even during September and October. Cruises are a good choice at any time of year because the ships can generally be flexible with their itineraries, and this is the perfect time for last minute trips to the Caribbean. That way you can check the Caribbean hurricane map or forecast and head off to your destination with a clear idea of what to expect. If you must book in advance, however, and can’t get nonrefundable tickets or hotels, then head for the southern Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago or the Netherlands Antilles, which are below the hurricane belt and have only a 2 percent chance of experiencing a storm.