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Good Vacation Travel Weather

Avoid Disasters and Travel to the Best Climate

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Man and woman sunbathing on beach towels in sand
Tom Merton/OJO Images/Getty Images

It's a honeymoon nightmare: You've planned the vacation down to the last detail--what you'll do daily, where you'll eat, even what you'll wear. Then you arrive--and the weather's miserable. Too hot and humid. Relentlessly rainy.

Worse, you get caught in a hurricane or tornado. Is it an omen or just bad planning? Any way you look at it, you suddenly realize that even honeymooners can get cabin fever....

But wait! There's help. If you start paying attention to the weather now, you stand a good chance of avoiding a honeymoon wash-out. Learn where the weather is likely to be good when you'll be traveling, and plan your honeymoon destination accordingly.

Caribbean Weather

Since many honeymooners opt for beach vacations, let's first turn a weather eye to the Caribbean. According to a travel magazine editor,

  • "The Caribbean is perfect for honeymooners nearly all year round, as the numerous couples who go there every year prove. Unfortunately for couples who want to honeymoon in August, the Caribbean Travel Organization (CTO) says that they're heading out in what is one of the rainiest months on nearly every island.

    "However, the Turks and Caicos islands do not really have a rainy season, and what little there is comes in September and lasts until November. Summer temperatures are generally in the 80s and are complemented by soft offshore tradewinds. Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao (the ABC islands) also get very little rain during the year, and the rainy season does not begin until October.

    "Even if a couple chooses an island that is going though the rainy season during their visit, they shouldn't worry too much. Caribbean rains tend not to be continual but rather periodic, occasionally heavy showers that last a very short time and are dried by the sun just as quickly. "

Meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters, a former hurricane hunter who's now with The Weather Underground, says couples planning an August honeymoon in the Caribbean are

  • "taking a chance. August is peak hurricane season. If you go, try to book a trip to one of the more southern islands like Barbados, Trinidad, Curacao, or Aruba; these islands are too far south to get more than about one major hurricane every 100 years."

Well, maybe. As someone who has personally shlepped around in a wedding dress in 101-degree heat and who has stood ankle-deep in tropical water and watched rain pour onto her luggage from inside a Caribbean airport, I say:

Take no chances.

The official Caribbean hurricane season stretches from June 1 - November 30. Since there's virtually no activity before then, Hurricane Forecasts resume June 1. Come June 5-6, WeatherNet will issue its forecast updates on seasonal tropical activity in the Atlantic basin. If you simply can't wait, visit the Weather Underground's Hurricane Tracker.

Watch the Weather Sites

The Weather Channel site provides current weather readings for U.S. cities as well as international destinations. It also provides access to airport and flight information.

You can also set up a customized weather page using MyYahoo!. Simply pick the zip codes or cities you want to keep an eye on, and you can get daily, weekly, and extended weather forecasts.

Want to see your tax dollars at work? Visit the National Weather Service. It's the official word on weather. It's also the megasource that provides just about every TV forecaster in the U.S. who stands in front of a map wearing a cheap suit, bad hair, and goofy smile with his or her daily report. The site has loads of data and links; not all are fresh.

Next page > Cool Places to Beat the Summer Heat

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