When Is Hurricane Season In Puerto Rico? – All You Need To Know

Hurricane season in Puerto Rico runs from June to November.

Did you know that the word hurricane comes from the language of the Taino Indians of Puerto Rico? According to Taino mythology, the goddess Guabanex brought Juracán (Hoo-Ra-Khan) along with two other gods to cause destruction to earth as punishment.

Hurricanes are a significant concern for those visiting Puerto Rico, but I have lived here all my life so I can explain what to expect.

In this article, I will cover everything that you need to know about hurricane season in Puerto Rico:

When is hurricane season in Puerto Rico?
Is Puerto Rico safe during hurricane season?
What should you do if a hurricane hits when you are in Puerto Rico?
What were the most recent hurricanes to hit Puerto Rico?

 

When is hurricane season in Puerto Rico?

Hurricane season in Puerto Rico starts on June 1 and lasts until November 30. 

Allow me to explain how hurricanes form. 

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a hurricane is a large rotating storm with high-speed winds that forms over warm waters in tropical areas.

To be classified as Hurricanes, these storms must have sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour.

image of US Geological Services map
A US Geological Services map shows Puerto Rico and the storms that have made a significant impact in the past.

A distinctive characteristic of hurricanes is that they have an area of low air pressure in the center, called the eye. Hurricanes that reach Puerto Rico come From Africa. They form over the warm ocean water of the tropics. 

Warm moist air over the water rises, and cooler air replaces it. The cooler air will warm and start to rise. This activity causes enormous storm clouds to form. 

The storm clouds begin to rotate with the spin of the Earth and form an organized system. With enough warm water, the cycle continues, and the storm clouds and wind speeds grow, forming a hurricane.

Below is a video explaining how a hurricane forms:

From June to November, the warm ocean waters provide optimum conditions for developing hurricanes.

The peak of the hurricane season in Puerto Rico is the months of August and September.

Every year we have a hurricane season, but Puerto Rico is not effected every year.

 

Is Puerto Rico safe during hurricane season?

Yes, Puerto Rico is safe during hurricane season.

Hurricanes are unpredictable, but with modern equipment, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) monitors them since they are just bad weather coming from Africa. 

image of what's inside of a hurricane
An aerial view from the Hurricane Hunter aircraft as a storm develops.

Once a hurricane forms, NOAA deploys the Hurricanes Hunter, an aircraft that is a meteorological station. 

They can forecast possible scenarios days in advance.

Pay attention to the news and Government information. 

They will tell you when they expect a hurricane, and you can stay safe.

 

What should you do if a hurricane hits when you are in Puerto Rico?

Hurricanes are a cultural event for us Puerto Ricans.

When the NOAA says a hurricane is coming, we flee to the supermarkets to buy canned food. 

image of people waiting in line to buy food before a hurricane hits the Island
Long lines are common at grocery stores where people stock up before a hurricane hits the island.

We get soda crackers, sausages, and hot chocolate mix.

Once a hurricane touches land, the Government forbids selling alcoholic beverages.

That is why you will see people buying alcohol like they are preparing to watch the Superbowl.

Some tips for experiencing a hurricane:

  • Stay indoors if a hurricane comes during your stay in Puerto Rico.
  • Water is more dangerous than wind during a hurricane. 
  • Please do not go near rivers or the ocean and by no means try to cross a flooded street.
  • Puerto Rico’s power grid has a self-protection mechanism that shuts the power down when a hurricane hits the Island.
  • The power system will fail; there will be blackouts, probably islandwide.
  • Try to get some cash because ATMs will not work.
  • It would help if you had available Local Emergency numbers.
  • Puerto Rico’s Emergency Management Office works 24/7 during hurricanes.

 

What were the most recent hurricanes to hit Puerto Rico?

Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico on September 28, 2022, dropping over 22 inches of rain on the Island.

The rain flooded several cities and caused a blackout that lasted several days.

On September 17, 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico.

Maria was responsible for almost 3,000 deaths, billions of dollars in damage, and leaving the Island without electricity for over three months.

image showing a satellite photo of Hurricane Maria while passing through Puerto Rico
This image shows a satellite photo of Hurricane Maria passing through Puerto Rico.

But as Puerto Ricans, we have a word encoded in our DNA from the Taino: “resilience” we always get back on our feet and keep on moving forward.

Below is a video of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico:

 

 

FAQ section

Should you visit Puerto Rico during hurricane season?

Yes, hurricane season is the low season you will get great deals on accommodations. Just verify your hotel and airline cancellation policy if you decide to return home if a hurricane hits Puerto Rico during your stay.

What is the rainiest month in Puerto Rico?

August is the wettest month in Puerto Rico, with an average of 7 inches of rain. The rainy season in Puerto Rico is from April to November, and from December to March we have the dry season.

 

Final thoughts

From June 1 to November 30, Puerto Rico has hurricane season.

Modern meteorology, construction and emergency management advances make Puerto Rico safe even when a hurricane hits the island.

If you visit us during hurricane season, make sure you get travel insurance if you cancel your trip to return home early.

For help planning your trip, check out our article Where To Stay In Puerto Rico – 13 Best Places & Areas.

You may also enjoy our articles How To Spend A Week In Puerto Rico (7-Day Itinerary) and 45 Best Things To Do In Puerto Rico.

Article by

Carlos Cubero

Writer at PuertoRico.com. I was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. I’m passionate about Puerto Rican history and culture. I live on the west coast of Puerto Rico, and host an Airbnb for tourists. I also coordinate tours and concierge services for tourists. I authored “Eat Like A Local, Puerto Rico”, and have contributed to blogs and magazines with articles about discovering and enjoying what Puerto Rico has to offer.

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