Your Guide to Weathering the Cabo Hurricane Season

Spanning over six months of the year, hurricane season in Cabo is a pretty big deal. Add on the heat, wind, and rain that come with it, and you couldn’t be blamed for expecting an absolutely miserable scene in Cabo for much of the year. However, the reality is quite different. Weathering hurricane season in Cabo is rarely a nightmare. In fact, it can be one of the best times to go to Cabo! So, let’s get into hurricane season in Cabo, when it is, what to expect, and how you can safely navigate it to enjoy a cheap vacation at your favorite beach destination.

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When Is Hurricane Season in Cabo San Lucas?

Sat on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, Cabo’s hurricane season runs from mid-May to the end of November. However, although the Cabo hurricane season technically lasts over half the year, hurricanes rarely impact the region in May or November. The worst storms form in late summer or early fall, typically between August and October. 

Cabo borders the Northeastern Pacific, the world’s second most active hurricane basin, with over 16 tropical storms annually. More than half of those grow to become hurricanes. Fortunately, not many of those that do form make landfall in Cabo.

What You Should Know About Hurricane Season in Cabo

Dark, stormy sky over El Arco in Cabo San Lucas

So, what is the Cabo hurricane season really like? Here’s everything you need to know and what you can expect from hurricane season in Cabo.

How Often Does Los Cabos Get Hurricanes? 

Despite being located within one of the most active hurricane regions in the world, Los Cabos doesn’t see as many hurricanes as one might expect. In the last ten years, only nine hurricanes have affected the Cabo region of the Baja California Peninsula. So, for perspective, Cabo only sees roughly one tropical cyclone every 1.5 years.

The reason for this is simple. Most hurricanes in the area weaken to tropical storms or depressions before landfall. In recorded history, only one hurricane, Olivia (1967), crossed the peninsula as a tropical storm and gathered strength in the Sea of Cortez to return and make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane. The rest tend to weaken out over the water, and others don’t even make it to land.

When Was the Last Hurricane to Hit Cabo?

The last major hurricane to make landfall in Cabo was Hurricane Odile in September 2014. It was only the third major hurricane to do so since recordings began in the early 1900s. 

The first, Hurricane Olivia, hit in October 1967, and the second, Hurricane Kiko, landed in August 1989. Hurricane Odile tied with Olivia for the strongest hurricane to hit the region. However, of the three, Hurricane Odile was the worst in the region’s history. The Category 3 hurricane caused over 100 injuries, 11 deaths, and roughly a billion US dollars in damage.

Other hurricanes have made landfall since Odile, though they caused much less damage. Olaf (2021) made landfall in September, resulting in heavy rains and severe winds. Hurricane Kay (2022) also hit in September of the following year, though it fell to a strong tropical storm, rather than a hurricane, by the time it made landfall in Baja California Sur.

What Is the Weather Like During Hurricane Season? 

Blue sky and palm trees beside the Sea of Cortez

The hurricane season in Cabo is characterized by heat and a bit of rain. The hot season coincides almost perfectly with hurricane season, lasting from mid-June to October. August is the hottest month, with average highs above 91°F and lows around 78°F. 

The rainy season is a bit shorter, spanning August to September, and is also when Cabo sees the worst tropical storms and hurricanes. Consequently, it’s little surprise that September regularly sees the most rain and the most frequent tropical storms. It is worth noting, however, that rainfall in September rarely exceeds three inches, and, as mentioned above, few of the storms in the region affect Cabo severely.

What Months Have the Worst Weather in Cabo?

The months with the worst weather in Cabo sit amid the height of hurricane season in August and September. August boasts the hottest temperatures, with highs above 91°F, while September claims the wettest weather, with roughly 2.5 inches of rainfall. The latter also bears the brunt of the hurricane season, with the most hurricanes in Cabo having previously occurred in September. As a result, if you’re planning a trip during hurricane season in Cabo, it’s best to consider a trip from May to June or October to November.

Is Cabo Safe During Hurricane Season?

Cabo is relatively safe during hurricane season, thanks to the brunt of hurricanes actually weakening in strength the closer they get to Cabo. Only three major hurricanes have ever made landfall in the region. However, tropical storms and hurricanes off the coast have caused damage from severe winds and rainfall. 

For those that do make landfall, though, Cabo is prepared to handle them, with emergency supplies at the ready and evacuation areas in place. Additionally, resorts in Cabo have beefed up their storm readiness with hurricane plans, temporary shelters, and backup equipment for communication systems. On top of that, structural inspections are conducted annually to ensure resorts are safe and able to withstand the harsher elements of a hurricane. 

5 Tips for Staying Safe During Hurricane Season in Cabo

Hurricane season storm blowing palm trees in Cabo

Hurricane season in Cabo doesn’t always pose a high risk to travelers. However, that doesn’t mean you should head to Cabo without a plan. Even when hoping for the best, preparing for the worst is always a good idea. That way, you can enjoy your vacation worry-free and know that even if a storm does crop up, you’ve done your homework. So, here are five tips to help you prepare and stay safe while in Cabo.

1. Purchase Travel Insurance

What may seem like an additional, unnecessary expense can prove especially handy if you have to change or cancel your trip entirely due to storms. That’s why it’s important to purchase travel insurance with trip cancellation coverage for that extra peace of mind. Because while hurricanes rarely touch down in Cabo, it’s rare that their effects are never felt, whether the result is simply rainy weather and a canceled excursion or two or a closed airport and instructions to shelter in place. 

Keep in mind that travel insurance only covers unexpected events, so once a storm is named, it’s already too late. If you’re planning a trip to Cabo during hurricane season, plan to purchase travel insurance when you book your trip. And if you want the freedom to cancel based on what you think might happen, consider splurging on cancel for any reason (CFAR) trip protection to ensure you’re covered no matter what.

2. Have a Plan 

Man and woman sitting at table, making a vacation emergency plan

On top of your fun travel itinerary, take the time to make a plan for the worst-case scenario. While it’s never fun to imagine, it’s decidedly even worse to experience, especially without a plan. So make an emergency kit with essential items like prescription meds, batteries/chargers for devices, snacks, and water. 

Make sure to have multiple copies of your important documents like your passport, travel insurance, credit cards, etc., and try to leave one set with a friend or family member back home. In addition, double-check everyone in the group has each other’s contact info or kids have their parents’ numbers, and choose a place to meet should you get separated.

Next Vacay Pro-tip: Keep a written list of emergency contacts with you in case you lose access to your phone.

3. Be Proactive: Ask Your Hotel About Their Safety Plan 

When you arrive at your hotel in Cabo, don’t be afraid to ask the staff about their preparation plans in the event of a hurricane. While some preparations are standard at every hotel—setting up temporary shelter facilities, readying backup communications, and conducting structural inspections—some things differ from site to site. Each hotel will have its own hurricane plan in place, so it’s important to know:

  1. What is the hotel’s warning system? Will guests be given alerts on imminent weather conditions? 
  2. At what point will the hotel cease activities and expect guests to shelter in place?
  3. What actions/steps are tourists expected to take if a hurricane is imminent?
  4. Where should tourists go if a hurricane is headed toward Los Cabos?

Knowing this ahead of time will doubtlessly save you precious moments of panic and stress later and ensure everyone in your group has the knowledge they need to stay safe.

4. Save the Emergency Hotlines

In the event of a worst-case scenario, it’s essential to know who to get in touch with. Emergency numbers aren’t always the same everywhere you go. Thankfully, Mexico has several numbers available with staff and emergency personnel ready to assist with everything from minor questions to full-on emergencies.

078 – Tourist Assistance Hotline: In Baja California Sur, travelers can dial 078 from anywhere—mobile phone, landline, etc.—and get connected to the tourist assistance hotline. You don’t have to worry about explaining your situation all in Spanish, either. They have bilingual members on staff.

911 – Emergency Services: Mexico used to have different numbers depending on your need, whether police, medical, or fire. Now, no matter the emergency, you can dial 911 for a quick response. Just be aware that not all dispatchers speak English.

(624) 143-3566 – U.S. Consulate: Located in San Jose Del Cabo, the U.S. Consulate provides routine and emergency services for US citizens in Baja California Sur.

(55) 8526-2561 – Emergency Assistance: US citizens can contact this number for immediate help outside business hours and during weekends/holidays.

5. Monitor the Local Weather Conditions

Cloudy sky and stormy seas during hurricane season

Traveling during the hurricane season means it’s particularly important to stay on top of weather forecasts and updates. It’s not enough to rely solely on your accommodations to tell you of inclement weather, especially if you’re out enjoying the sights and sounds of Cabo. Remember, just as quickly as hurricanes can downgrade, it’s equally true that they can quickly gather in strength until what starts as a minor storm can become a powerful hurricane.

Use the local news and National Hurricane Center to stay updated on potential storms, and you can find useful apps to monitor the weather situation at your destination. 

The Best Time to Go to Cabo: Why Travel During Hurricane Season?

It may seem counterintuitive to travel to a sunny destination like Cabo during the rainiest, stormiest season of the year. In fact, it’s what many consider the worst time to go. However, timing your trip for the beginning or end of hurricane season in Cabo can actually reveal the cheapest and most beautiful times to go. Though August and September herald heat and a flurry of storms, the months of May to July and October to November offer up little rain and sunny skies on top of low prices and fewer crowds.

Whatever the Season, Get Away with the Best Deals to Cabo with Next Vacay 

Rainbow over Cabo San Lucas

Cabo’s sunny blue skies and warm waters are waiting to invite you in. With every season offering something fun and exciting to travelers, you don’t have to wait for the perfect time to go. With Next Vacay, you don’t have to find the perfect deal either. You can let it find you. 

With deals delivered right to your inbox, you can enjoy all the best times to go to Cabo, whether that’s whale season, the dry season, or even hurricane season. Let Next Vacay take you to paradise while saving you money. If you want to soak in the sun, swim in the waters, and treat yourself to a first-class resort, it’s time to make it easy. It’s time for Next Vacay

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