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Cancun 2023 Hurricane Forecast: What Travelers Need To Know

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If you’re heading to Cancun and the Riviera Maya this summer, forecasts are now out for the upcoming hurricane season!

red flag warning on beach

June 1st to November 30th is when the hurricane season officially begins, and during this period, you can typically expect hurricanes and tropical storms in the Mexican Caribbean.

They have been known to cause severe damage, so ahead of this period, it’s crucial to keep yourself updated with the weather and have a plan ready in case of emergencies.

palm trees in a storm

According to AccuWeather’s 2023 Atlantic Hurricane forecast, it’s said that whilst the U.S. might want to keep its eyes peeled for storms, the Mexican Caribbean might have the pleasure of being slightly less vigilant, as conditions are looking to be the same as last year.

Similar to 2022, this region barely felt the hurricane season, despite there being plenty of heavy downpours, which is common for the time of year. There were no severe hurricanes in Cancun and the Riviera Maya area in 2022, and the same is predicted for the area this year.

El Niño is known to disrupt the intensity and frequency of the storms, and down in the Mexican Caribbean, it tends to increase rainfall and storms, but the severity of storms lessens.

Kottlowski from AccuWeather stated that El Niño causes winds at higher levels of the atmosphere to dip southwards and deep into the tropics, which affects the clouds, causing thunderstorms and tropical development.

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gloomy weather on beach in cancun

The Good News

Hurricanes are less intense and prominent in the Atlantic during El Niño, which is great for the Riviera Maya because it means less damage to communities and disruption for travelers.

Despite there being more storms, the cooler sea surface temperatures make it harder for the storms to become severe, as storms tend to worsen by picking up the warmer, moist air.

Another benefit is that along with the increased rainfall, despite potential flooding and other challenges, it can aid the Mexican Caribbean’s water supply, particularly in dense touristy areas, as a reliable water supply is essential for hotels and other businesses.

It can also make the weather a little less unbearable, the summer can get extremely hot and humid, and El Niño would bring the temperatures down, meaning travelers can spend time outside and enjoy all the offerings the Mexican Caribbean has to offer.

hurricane emerging on riviera Maya beach

Travelers will need to be prepared for hurricane season by taking necessary precautions.

How To Stay Safe As A Traveler In Hurricane Season and El Niño

  • Keep informed about weather updates in the area you are visiting via warnings from local authorities
  • Keep important documents, such as your passports and travel insurance policies, in a waterproof container
Travelers enjoying a stroll on Cancun's white sand beach
  • Follow the guidance of your hotel or resort staff regarding evacuation procedures and safety measures
  • Consider getting travel insurance that covers your trip cancellation or interruption due to weather. It can protect you if you have to cancel because of a hurricane, and it helps you get your money refunded if a hurricane hits your destination, whether you’ve arrived or not.

According to statistics from 1990 to 2020, a regular hurricane season has around 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, three of which are major.

satellite view of a hurricane forming

Difference Between A Hurricane Watch And A Hurricane Warning

It’s important to understand the difference between the two alerts – a hurricane watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of around 117kmph) are potentially possible in the area.

Experts generally announce hurricane watches 48 hours before they expect the storm-force winds (62-117kmph) to start.

A hurricane warning is more serious. It implies that hurricane-force winds are definitely expected, and this would typically be issued around 36 hours before the hurricane conditions are expected in the area to give everyone in the area enough time to prepare.

palm trees affected by hurricane

Despite hurricane season being a less appealing time of year to visit, it will just be a lot rainier, but there will still be plenty of wonderful weather, including much cheaper accommodations and attractions.

It would generally be better suited to travelers who can book last minute – as you can check up on weather conditions before you book.

Plan Your Next Cancun Vacation:

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