Where is the hurricane zone?

11 June 2011

Despite the devastation caused by hurricanes in recent years, the Atlantic hurricane zone lures travelers with low airfares and cheap hotel rates. The U.S. hurricane zone includes popular travel areas like the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the beaches along the Atlantic Coast during summer and fall.

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Hurricane capital of the world

The title of ‘Hurricane Capital of the Caribbean’ goes to the island of Abaco in the Bahamas, where 18 severe hurricanes have occurred since 1851. A severe hurricane (also called a major hurricane) is defined as having winds of at least 111 miles per hour. This is enough to incur damage on well-built homes and remove roofs. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted in a major hurricane, causing road blocks. Electricity and water will typically be unavailable for days to weeks after the hurricane passes.

Hurricane Zone Top 10 Caribbean islands

After Abaco, the 10 Caribbean locations with the highest number of severe hurricanes (categories 3/5) in the last 150 or so years are:

  1. Saba, Netherland Antilles (15/7)
  2. Grand Bahama, Bahama (15/3)
  3. Key West, USA (14/7)
  4. St. Eustatius, Netherland Antilles (14/7)
  5. Bimini, Bahamas (14/5)
  6. Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas (14/3)
  7. Nevis, West Indies (13/7)
  8. Habana, Cuba (13/7)
  9. St. Maarten/St. Martin (13/7)
  10. Tortola, British Virgin Islands (13/6)

See a full list of the islands and the number of hurricanes.

Top 10 U.S. cities in the hurricane zone

The Atlantic Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Hawaiian islands are the most vulnerable to hurricanes. The top 10 most hurricane-prone cities in the U.S. are the following:

  1. Cape Hattaras, North Carolina
  2. Delray Beach, Florida
  3. Hollywood, Florida
  4. Deerfield Beach, Florida
  5. Boca Raton, Florida
  6. Florida City, Florida
  7. Grand Isle, Louisiana
  8. Ft. Pierce, Florida
  9. Miami, Florida
  10. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Top 10 hurricane-prone countries

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Administration, the top ten countries with the most hurricanes since 1970 are the following:

  1. China
  2. Philippines
  3. Japan
  4. Mexico
  5. United States
  6. Australia
  7. Taiwan
  8. Vietnam
  9. Madagascar
  10. Cuba

Don’t overlook the rest of the globe

Many travelers overlook the Eastern Pacific hurricane season primarily because more people travel in and encounter the hurricanes of the Caribbean instead.

Hurricane risks in the East Pacific

The western coast of Mexico is also subject to hurricanes and is just as closely monitored by weather experts and cruise line operators. Cruise ports such as Acapulco and Puntarenas have suffered serious hurricane damage in the past.

Hurricanes in the Southern hemisphere

Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii also get their share of tropical cyclones each year. The southern hemisphere’s seasons are the opposite of those in the northern, of course, and their hurricane season peaks in March and April.

Damian Tysdal

Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and he believes travel insurance should be easier to understand. He started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.

Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and he believes travel insurance should be easier to understand. He started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.