Travel Alert September 2017: Tropical Storm Maria to Impact Eastern Caribbean Islands

If eastern islands of the Caribbean Sea are in your travel plans over the next few days, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the weather — due to the effects from Tropical Storm Maria.

Travel Alert September 2017: Tropical Storm Maria to Impact Eastern Caribbean Islands

Tropical Storm Maria

Tropical Storm Maria churns in the Atlantic Ocean as it heads west northwest towards the northern islands of the Caribbean Sea, which are outlined in purple. Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

Maximum sustained winds of Tropical Storm Maria — which is currently in the Atlantic Ocean and moving west northwest at a speed of 15 miles per hour — are at 65 miles per hour, which means that it is currently classified just shy of a Category 1 hurricane.

Although this storm is still approximately 460 miles east southeast of the Lesser Antilles, hurricane watches have already been issued for Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Saba and Saint Eustatius, Saint Maarten and Anguilla — with hurricane conditions possible as soon as Monday night — and tropical storm watches have been posted for portions of the Lesser Antilles which include Saint Lucia, Martinique, Dominica, Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Unfortunately, many of these areas were significantly impacted by Hurricane Irma — and the last thing they need is another hurricane heading their way.

Tropical Storm Maria is expected to strengthen quickly to a major Category 3 hurricane sometime over the next few days as it is expected to cause beach erosion, rough surf, coastal flooding, strong rip currents, windy conditions and significant rainfall of up to eight inches in some areas. Power outages and localized flooding is possible.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to anywhere in the islands of the eastern Caribbean Sea over the next few days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this tropical weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary. If you are driving in any of these areas, watch out for deteriorating weather conditions and traffic problems.

Here are four airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this tropical weather system:


This is only the first wave of travel alerts to result from Tropical Storm Maria. Expect more travel alerts from additional airlines over the next several days to be expanded to areas such as Hispaniola — and possibly the Bahamas and Cuba — and I will do my best to inform you if your travel plans are indeed affected.

Keep yourself updated with the latest information so that you are able to evacuate as early as possible if the weather forecast becomes bleak and threatening.

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

8 thoughts on “Travel Alert September 2017: Tropical Storm Maria to Impact Eastern Caribbean Islands”

  1. Jenicka says:

    Is it safe to travel to Miami September 23-26?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      The current forecast projections are for through Friday, September 22, 2017, Jenicka; so no one knows for sure.

      Even if the storm turns northward and steers away from the Florida coast, windy conditions, possible intermittently heavy rainfall and rough surf with potentially dangerous rip tides may be expected.

      The best thing to do for now is wait at least a couple of days to get a better idea of whether or not traveling to Miami will be safe — or if travel to and from Miami may be disrupted.

  2. Mary C says:

    Is it safe to travel to Cancun Mexico on Sept 22 2017 to Sept 24 2017. Thanks

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      You should have no problems related to hurricanes with your travel to Cancun, Mary C.

      Enjoy your trip!

  3. Brenda Glean says:

    I am on a BA flight to London from Trinidad via St Lucia on 19 Sep. Will this flight still be on schedule?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Saint Lucia is directly south of the hurricane right now, Brenda Glean. The island is currently experiencing the equivalent of a tropical storm; and many flights were canceled today as a result.

      The British Airways flight for tonight is delayed; but Hurricane Maria — which is currently a Category 5 hurricane — should be far enough northwest of Saint Lucia that your flight may depart tomorrow if there is little to no significant damage.

      Even if the weather is nice enough, the flight could be delayed for reasons associated with the hurricane.

  4. Jo R says:

    My friend is leaving for the Dominican Republic on Friday for 7 days, is it safe?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Your friend will likely have no choice but to change travel plans, Jo R.

      The hurricane is expected to be in the Turks and Caicos by Friday morning; and it will still be a major hurricane by then. The northern coast of the Dominican Republic may likely still experience the residual effects of the hurricane with gusty winds and heavy rainfall at times; and up to 18 inches of rain is expected in some areas — meaning flooding is likely on Friday.

      I intend to post an article later today with the latest information and travel waivers…

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