I Know You Don’t Want To…But Let’s Talk Hurricane Season 2015

It’s early.  I agree.  With beautiful weather like this?  Who wants to talk about hurricanes?


But June 1st is the official start of the Hurricane Season and weather services are now issuing reports…our San Pedro NEMO group is meeting with the new Town Council (National Emergency Management Organization)…


…and while storms tend to swirl in late August, September and October (Sept 11th is the peek date), smaller storms have been known to creep up early.

Let’s start with the fun part, the names.  Here are the announced 2015 names.  It’s actually a rotating list with major storms retired.

And one named after our mayor…

Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, Wanda

Last year was a mild one for us (while considered “near average” for the Atlantic) – and the storm list ended with “H” – Hanna.

The latest forecasting update – from Crown Weather Services – is calling for a lower than average season.  And that is great but that is for the entire Atlantic.  It only takes one storm to make it a really crappy season for Belize.  But they post additional good news for us.low riskLow does not mean none.  So…as we get closer to the storm season, here are the weather services that I check almost daily.  Hurricanes, generally, do not come out of no where…and again, generally, we have a few days notice before they are in the vicinity.

National Hurricane Center

Wunderground’s Hurricanes & Tropical Cyclones

US Navy Tropical Cyclones

I’m sure there are many more…please let me know and I’ll compile a more comprehensive list for y’all.

And now, for what it is worth, my storm experience while in Belize.  I have lived full time for 8 years.  And have seen a handful of storm watches and warnings (maybe 5-7).  I came here from the New York City, I grew up in NJ and they have seen FAR WORSE hurricanes in the 8 years that I’ve been in Belize than we have.  Sandy and Irene, as many know, were DOOZIES.

My first, and maybe the strongest was Hurricane Dean on August 21, 2007.  (My birthday so I remember the date.)  He was the strongest storm of the 2007 season and the town prepared (plywood…boats removed to the backside of the island or the mainland) and he veered north of us.  Hitting Mahahual, Mexico as a Category 5.

There was damage to the island.  We lost power for about a day, many docks were knocked over by the storm serge and there were tree branches, palapa and debris everywhere.

2011, I posted about preparation for Hurricane Rina.  She ended up dying down and moving north.


In 2012, we had a scare with Hurricane Ernesto – liquor sales were banned.  Ernesto veered north and downsized quickly.   Here are some “morning after pictures” in San Pedro.

There are lots of interesting stats on this site – like the most powerful storms to ever hit and the frequency.  It’s well worth taking a look at…

In the end…preparation is key.  But I will leave that to the experts.  Now please…go about your business.













  • Wilma

    Nice post, Rebecca. Hurricane Iris hit us in Monkey River and Placencia in 2001. It was deadly and wiped several resorts off the map for ever. Very rare to have one like Iris, though. Hoping for a calm hurricane season in 2015.

    • Belize Blog

      Yes…we always talk of Mitch and Keith in the Northern Cayes…but Iris was huge too. I too hope for not even a warning…or a watch…a little rain only 🙂

  • Glad to read that this year is not forecast to be a bad one in the western Caribbean. Also thought it was interesting that of the three hurricanes you mention since you’ve been living in Belize, we were there for two of them (Rina & Ernesto). We were very fortunate indeed that neither were as bad as they could have been!