The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins today, and already two potential systems are being monitored by cruise lines, coastal communities, and weather authorities for possible development.
The more severe of the two is near Belize and Mexico, while the weaker and less organized system is located east of The Bahamas and is unlikely to impact cruise lines.
Hurricane Season Begins
The official Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30. On this very first day of the season, remnants of what was Hurricane Agatha in the Pacific Ocean have crossed over central America and are now interacting with more moisture and tropical temperatures near Mexico and Belize.
The system has a high probability – 70-80% – of development into a tropical storm in the next few days, right in an area where many cruise ships visit the popular ports of Cozumel, Costa Maya, Progreso, Belize, and more.
If the stronger system does develop, it would likely move across the Caribbean toward Florida, potentially impacting additional ports such as Key West and Florida homeports.
At this time, no cruises are currently impacted and there have been no itinerary changes announced, but cruise lines are on the alert for the season.
Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald discussed hurricane season and how the cruise line stays aware of developments in a post to his Facebook page.
“Carnival has all the tools needed to see where a tropical storm is developing, where it is going and what the projected track is likely to be,” Heald said.
He noted that the cruise line gathers information from the National Hurricane Center, U.S. Coast Guard, and other government authorities, and the Carnival Cruise Line Fleet Operations Center is staffed 24 hours a day to monitor conditions.
“Although itinerary modifications happen from time to time, any decision to change an itinerary is always done with the interest of guest and crew safety,” Heald said.
Cruise lines will alter itineraries as needed to protect their guests, crew, and vessels. This may mean delaying or canceling a port of call, reversing the order of an itinerary, or substituting an alternate port of call visit away from the path of a dangerous storm.
2022 Hurricane Season Predictions
Weather forecasters are projecting higher than normal activity for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, with the possibility of 14-21 named storms, of which 6-10 may become hurricanes. Of those hurricanes, 3-6 may become major hurricanes rated at Category 3 or above.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this will be the seventh year in a row with above average predictions.
It is important to note, however, that these predictions are a season overview, and not an indication of landfall impacts or storms that may threaten coastal or island communities.
“Throughout the hurricane season, NOAA experts will work around-the-clock to provide early and accurate forecasts and warnings that communities in the path of storms can depend on to stay informed,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
The projected higher activity is a result of ongoing La Nina conditions, warmer than typical Atlantic and Caribbean surface water temperatures, weaker tropical trade winds that could otherwise disrupt storms, and other factors.
Cruise travelers during hurricane season should always be aware of how a hurricane could impact their cruise, including potential changes to their itineraries, and remain flexible with their travel plans in case adjustments or alterations are made.
It is also a good idea to pack seasickness remedies along, as storms hundreds of miles away can still create rougher water conditions for cruises.