When is the hurricane season in Aruba? The timing of the peak and first recorded tornado

With white sandy beaches, beautiful turquoise waters, and plenty of amazing ocean life to enjoy, Aruba is one of the best places to visit in the Caribbean. It is part of the Netherlands and part of the Lesser Antilles. The closest part of mainland South America is Venezuela, which you can even see from Aruba on a very clear day.

Like most of the tropics, Aruba is subject to some extreme weather. Ocean storms with strong winds of more than 74 miles per hour are classified as hurricanes. While they can occur at any time, certain periods of the year are known to have more tornadoes. The conditions are ideal for hurricanes to develop and affect islands like Aruba. Known for hurricane season, residents and visitors need to take extra precautions during these months to prepare for any hurricane.

Hurricane season in Aruba occurs during August, September and October and tends to peak in September. Tornadoes are not unheard of this early in the spring and they can occur this past October. But the summer and early fall months have more tornadoes than any other time of the year on average.

An aerial view of the island of Aruba in the Caribbean Sea at sunset
Aruba is one of the best places to visit in the Caribbean.

© Steve Photography / Shutterstock.com

Where do hurricanes usually strike in Aruba?

Aruba is not large and only covers about 75 square miles. The population is just over 100,000 people, although the tourism industry is very active in Aruba. Cruise ships stop frequently and air travel is also available to get to Aruba.

The northern coast tends to get more wind and surf. Hurricanes and storms that affect Aruba almost always come from this direction. But being so far south, even the northern coast is dry without much rain most years.

The south coast contains a number of small historic towns, including Savaneta, the oldest city in Aruba. From its views, you can sometimes see nearby Venezuela on a very clear day.

The eastern coast is home to the Arikok National Park. This protected area is home to many native flora and fauna. It is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of Aruba. Like most areas in Aruba, there are also beautiful beaches and water.

The west coast of Aruba is where most of the hotels, resorts and tourist attractions are located. It is also where the capital, Oranjestad, is located. These areas don’t get much inclement weather, which makes them ideal for swimming, snorkeling, diving, and relaxing in the sun.

Quadirikiri Cave, Arikok National Park, Aruba
The eastern coast is home to the Arikok National Park. This protected area is home to many native flora and fauna.

© Serge Jatunen / shutterstock.com

How often do hurricanes hit Aruba?

Fortunately, Aruba experiences fewer hurricanes than many other Caribbean islands. It is located farther south, closer to the South American mainland, and is outside the direct path of most hurricanes in the region. Known as the hurricane belt, the area in the Caribbean where the weather is most severe lies to the north. This is a good thing for those who live in or want to travel to Aruba. There is less chance of the island being affected by a hurricane, although storms can disrupt travel to the Caribbean in general. Keep in mind that cruise ships traveling from the United States will still need to pass through the hurricane belt to reach Aruba.

Aruba is hit by a hurricane about once a year, although most of these do not make landfall. Instead, increased winds and rain from nearby hurricanes tend to be the extent of the impact on Aruba. In November 2022, Hurricane Nicole reached Aruba as a Category 1 hurricane. Category 1 is the weakest form of the storm classified as a hurricane and sees winds of 74-95 mph. Of the six hurricanes that have approached Aruba since 2018, only Nicole has made landfall on the island.

In 2016, Aruba was expected to be hit by Hurricane Matthew. The storm caused only minor damage from strong winds and some minor flooding from increased precipitation. When a hurricane affects Aruba, it is often seen and felt on the beaches. Ocean debris and seaweed can wash in and sand can wash in through erosion. Fortunately, the government in Aruba knows its white sand beaches are a major draw and is taking immediate steps to clean up after the storm. After Hurricane Matthew, the Public Works Department removed the debris and added sand to the beaches.

Hurricane wind gauge
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is what the National Hurricane Center ranks as a storm rating.

© VectorMine / Shutterstock.com

Which part of Aruba is the safest from typhoons?

All parts of Aruba are relatively safe from hurricanes compared to many other Caribbean islands. The northern coast is the most exposed, while the southern coast is the most protected. The West Coast, where many resorts and hotels are located, is also a safe place to shelter during a storm or hurricane.

Some of the best precautions to take include staying away from windows and open spaces. You must also follow all posted regulations when it comes to marine sports and activities. This is important all year round but extremely critical during hurricane season. Many guides cancel or postpone trips if the weather means that exploring in the water isn’t safe.

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