Sunday, June 5, 2011

Are There Hurricanes in Aruba?

"Hurricane climatology of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba

The Leeward (ABC) Islands

Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are on the southern fringes of the hurricane belt. They are not outside the hurricane belt as many consider. History learns that roughly once every 100 years considerable damage is experienced by tropical
cyclones passing over or just south of the islands. Although the hurricane experience level for the islands may be regarded as nihil, well known is the minor hurricane which passed just south of Curaçao on September 23, 1877 causing an estimated structural damage of US$ 2 million, mainly to the coastal section of Willemstad. A nunnery was completely washed away (remnants still visible with low tide), many ships were lost and at least 70 persons drowned. The lowest barometer reading at Willemstad was observed at 23/15:30 UTC with 995.4 millibars. A ship sailing south of Curaçao reported a lowest pressure of 988.8 millibars.

In this context the most significant events in the past few years were related to tropical storms Joan in 1988, tropical storm Bret in 1993 and tropical storm Cesar in 1996. Tropical storm Joan, which past just south of the islands on October 16, 1988, caused an estimated structural damage of approximately US$1.5 million, mainly by blown off roofs and by rough seas pounding exposed harbor and beach facilities. ...

On the average, once every 4 years a tropical cyclone occurs within a radius of 100 miles, but mostly passing to the north of the islands without causing serious bad weather. ..."