The Atlantic Hurricane Season
The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, is around the corner. Hurricanes usually occur during September in the Caribbean, so in the months leading up to that time, we make the necessary preparations and stay informed by following reports and warnings from forecasters at The Weather Channel in the U.S., who keep a keen watch on storm developments way in advance.
The Life Cycle of a Hurricane
Warm ocean temperatures tend to create the conditions for hurricanes, which have a history of building up along the west coast of Africa. When that happens, a hurricane starts its life as a tropical depression before it develops into a storm. When it reaches the stage of a tropical storm, it is assigned a name from a list. When the wind force of a tropical storm surpasses 73 miles per hour, a hurricane is in effect.
Hurricanes range from Category 1, which cause minimal damage, to Category 5, which are the deadliest. An example of a Cat-5 hurricane is Hurricane Gilbert, which devastated most of the Caribbean in 1988.
Hurricane Season in the DR
In Cabarete, we are fortunate that tropical storms and hurricanes don’t usually affect us because of the size of our island and its location in the Caribbean. Our lush vegetation and mountain ranges provide a natural shield. When Hurricane Irma hit in 2017, we experienced minimal damage and no loss of life. Our operations were up and running after a few days. Most of Cabarete returned to normal, and we’re happy to say that everyone was okay.
If that’s not enough to convince you, here’s another: Pico Duarte. At 10,125 feet (3,087 meters), Pico Duarte is the highest peak in the DR, and all of the Caribbean. This mountain easily deflects storms headed our way. It is located between two national parks: Armando Bermúdez and José del Carmen Ramírez. The former is about 80 miles (130 km) from Cabarete.
There’s a good side to tropical storms, though. They sweep sand back to Kite Beach, which prevents erosion and helps to maintain our island’s coastline. A healthy coastline means awesome conditions for surfing and kiteboarding when the Atlantic storms create epic waves in Playa Encuentro during the winter months.