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Mention weather and the Caribbean in the same sentence and, quite often, the subject of hurricanes arises. These enormous storms are officially a threat from June 1 through November 30. Their greatest danger is August through October (September is the worst).

A hurricane is a revolving stors with wind speeds of 75 mph or greater. These counterclockwise storms begin as waves off the west coast of Africa and work their way across the Atlantic, some gaining strength to become tropical depressions (under 40 mph) or tropical storms (40-74 mph).

Excellent warning systems keep islanders and vacationers posted on the possibility of oncoming storms. Radio Cayman broadcasts current storm reports in the islands.

Keep in mind, however, that the Caribbean is a large region. We were on Grand Cayman when Hurricane Luis picked up strength on its way to batter St. Martin and Antigua in 1995 and never saw surf over ankle high. More recently, we were on Grand Cayman while a hurricane battered Jamaica causing rainslides and flooding. The result on Grand Cayman were occasional wind gusts until the hurricane began its movement over the island, when it weakened and caused nothing more than extensive rain.

Nonetheless, the Cayman Islands can feel the force of hurricanes; in 2004, Hurricane Ivan proved that, producing damage especially on Grand Cayman that has caused some businesses to take into 2006 to renovate and reopen.

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