Hurricane Season in Jamaica  

Hurricane Season in Jamaica   

The official date of hurricane season in Jamaica is June 1 – November 30. Although there is no guarantee that a tropical storm or hurricane will occur during this time, it is typically the time when Jamaica experiences the highest level of rainfall particularly in the month of May and October-November. August and September tend to be the time of most frequent occurrences. Thanks to satellite weather forecasts, adequate hurricane warnings provide ample time for preparation for the impending hurricane or evacuation. Ironically, this time is usually also associated with some of the nicest beach days on the island and the best conditions for visibility throughout the year when scuba diving.

Jamaica isn’t often hit by hurricanes but it has had its share and so it is always a good idea to buy travel insurance. This can cover everything from having to change your flight dates to adjustments to package vacation deals to Jamaica. This can prove particularly useful if hurricane weather affects your travel plans, including if you have already made all your bookings and a hurricane happens before you travel. This will allow you to recoup some of the expenditure and still have your holiday or return to Jamaica at a later date.  

If a hurricane is headed your way and you are mid vacation on the island, you will usually get information on evacuation options. All hotels will have emergency precautions in place to take care of their guests should something like this occur. However, be aware that if staying at an AirBnB, a small bed and breakfast or hostel they may not have adequate facilities to take care of your needs before during and after the weather event. Therefore, it is always a good idea to pay attention to notifications given out by the Office of Disaster Preparedness when there is a threat of a hurricane. Every district has designated shelters and evacuation plans.

Note that just before the hurricane hits, the island will probably experience one of the most beautiful beach days you’ll ever see, so don’t be caught unawares by what you think is really good weather! 

Being right by the sea isn’t the best place to ride out the storm as the sea levels rise and the wave height and action increase. Many surfers enjoy some of the best surfing of the year during this period as, even if a hurricane doesn’t end up touching down on the island, the regional weather will still affect the sea conditions. Most locals head for higher ground and many a Jamaican community sits on the hillside.

Some favor battening down the hatches with a good supply of easy to prepare food that doesn’t require refrigeration, along with water and basic medical supplies, flashlights, solar chargers for items like phones, a crank and solar charge radio and a good supply of batteries. The reason for the radio is to stay updated during the storm but oftentimes, post-hurricane, it takes a while to get the island’s infrastructure back up and running again. This includes power and being able to replenish supplies, including vital medicines and clean water. If you or someone with you has a medical condition, find out what your options and make sure you have what you need.


What To Expect:

Every Hurricane is given a name and each one indeed has its own personality, some are slow and lumbering mid category storms, waxing and waning in strength, sitting over areas and dumping vast amounts of rains while others move in a straight line, gaining strength quickly and doing great damage at a Category 5 level (the strongest) and then dying out quickly within 12 to 24 hours. Some move in a straight line while others move erratically. There is no telling however, and watching the weather updates is your best plan.

If you happen to have had your vacation cut short by a hurricane, your hotel will usually help you make arrangements to leave the island after it is over. Once you get back home you should get in touch with your travel agent and report the hurricane to trigger your travel insurance.

Useful websites for weather updates and hurricane predictions and preparations are:

Jamaica’s Meteorological Service


The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management


Weather Underground (Tropical Report)


Weather Channel


Hurricane Categories — when winds reach 74 miles per hour or more, the hurricane is assigned a category:

Category 1: 74-95 mph winds produce some damage

Category 2: 96-110 mph winds produce extreme damage

Category 3: 111-129 mph winds cause devastating damage

Category 4: 130-156 mph winds cause catastrophic damage

Category 5: 157 mph or higher winds cause damage that makes the affected area uninhabitable for weeks, if not months.
List of Emergency Numbers in Jamaica