Rare December Tropical Storm Forms In Caribbean

December 4, 2003

While U.S. East Coast residents are bracing for what some weather-folks are predicting will be the year's first "nor'easter," the Caribbean-bound might want not want to crow –- yet. In what is a very rare occurrence –- officially, hurricane season ended on November 30 -- Tropical Storm Odette has formed.

As of 4 p.m. E.S.T., Odette, about 280 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, was recording wind speeds in the 40 m.p.h. range (note: Odette's still a far cry from being even a category one hurricane – which clocks winds at a minimum 74 m.p.h.). The storm is moving at a pretty-slow 10 m.p.h. Meteorologists estimate that, beyond Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas could potentially lie in Odette's path.

The Weather Channel reports that in the past 30 years there have been just five post-hurricane season tropical storms; Odette's the first since 1984.

At this point, impact to cruising is minimal if nonexistent, but travelers sailing in the region may want to be prepared for rain storms and, perhaps, higher-than-normal surf levels. We'll keep you posted if cruise lines decide to alter itineraries.