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Weather Vacation Planner - How To Book Wisely In Hurricane Season

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Beach vacations are all about carefree fun; but taking extra care and planning thoroughly ahead of the trip can save you money and stress. With YourCast, you can see how likely it is that hurricanes will affect your destination, and plan accordingly.


Summer Travel

If you're going to travel during hurricane season, which runs from late spring to late fall, you have to be aware of the weather. Understanding the probabilities for temperatures, rain, wind and humidity is one thing, but tropical storms and hurricanes cause much bigger problems. We'll show you how to maximize your chances of avoiding those monster storms and getting stuck when they hit.

It only takes one. That is the mantra meteorologists prepare coastal communities with before every season. Some of the most active seasons on record, like 2010 (in terms of the number of storms), have had few landfalls and very little impact on the United States. On the other hand, there have been seasons like 1992 with a low number of storms but one or two major landfalls in the United States.

With that in mind, there is no way to predict where a hurricane will go until it has formed. However, as you consider your vacation weather, there are some historical patterns that suggest what areas are most at risk during certain times of the year.

Named tropical systems have struck the United States as early as Mid-May and as late as Late November. Now, I’m not suggesting you put off all summer travel plans on the chance that a named storm could strike! Let’s pick an area of focus.

To do that, we will clarify that the term “named storm” includes Tropical Storms which are those with maximum sustained winds of 39-74mph. A hurricane has winds that top out over 74mph. Even though named storms are classified based on their winds, water is exponentially more deadly with coastal storm surge and flooding rain resulting in approximately 76% of named storm deaths. And many more of those deaths occur in hurricanes than tropical storms. So, we will focus specifically on hurricanes.

Total U.S. Hurricane Landfalls By Month 1851 - 2020

The official hurricane season (according to the National Hurricane Center) runs from June to November. However the first and last months of the season have an extremely scarce record of hurricane landfalls in the United States. Activity in the Atlantic Basin peaks in September and so too do landfalls in the United States. Really, from Mid-August to Mid-October, almost any part of the Eastern United States–but especially from Texas all the way around to North Carolina–is prone to a hurricane strike.

Look at the difference between hurricane activity in July versus hurricane activity in September. You can see how there is a clear ramp up during the later weeks of summer. So, if you would like to minimize the chances of a hurricane interfering with your beach plans, try to avoid September. Late August and early October can be tricky too.

Above: September Hurricane Landfalls since 1850

Below: July Hurricane Landfalls since 1850

If you are content to take the risk, you might consider some parts of the coast that are a little less vulnerable. Due to its indented shape relative to surrounding areas, Georgia has a lower strike probability. The Mid-Atlantic beaches from Virginia north to New Jersey are safer options as well.

Florida and anywhere along the Gulf Coast are indeed beautiful and the vast majority of vacations here go on without a hitch. However, those areas are statistically more likely to have a hurricane problem in the heart of the season. You might just consider those areas for a coastal retreat during the off-season from Late October to June–the hurricane risk is much lower, the crowds are lighter, and you might just find the perfect warm weather vacation in December!

All Hurricanes to Pass Within 60 Miles of Nags Head, North Carolina Since 1851

How Do I Find Out the Weather For My Trip?

Pick up your favorite mobile device or hop online to check the probabilities for any location you plan to visit. You should know, that getting the right information can be tricky consuming without meteorological training. YourCast is here and available via a click, email, call or text to help you find a destination that is unlikely to deal with hurricanes.

Whatever you choose, be it offseason or peak season, working with a meteorologist as weather vacation planner, can help you pinpoint the hurricane risk before you book. For example, click on our submission page. Enter any coastal locations and we can actually look at the specific hurricane history for any part of the coast and identify past events for comparisons, the average yearly chance of a hurricane strike and the times of year it is most likely. You could also just give us a date or range of dates you have in mind and we could tell you the least vulnerable locations at that time. Happy traveling!

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