In the usual run up to the launch of Atlantic Ocean/Gulf Coast hurricane season -- which technically begins June 1 and ends November 30 -- The National Hurricane Center offers its prediction: six-to-eight official major storms in 2002. The prediction specifies that among these lines the possibility of two-to-three “major” hurricanes, defined as those whose winds reach at least 111 m.p.h. (minimum wind speed for “hurricane status” is 74 m.p.h.).
This year’s prediction calls for a slightly-above-average season; the center also says that region can anticipate 9 - 13 tropical storms.
What does this mean for cruisers? Not necessarily a whole lot though travelers from mid-July through mid-October especially may want to plan to arrive in embarkation ports a day or so early and/or keep an eye on the Weather Channel in the days just leading up to departure.