Wild Weather in Turks and Caicos

Since 1984, when the increase in tourism began here, the Turks and Caicos have largely escaped the wrath of hurricanes and tropical storms that have battered the nearby Bahamas regularly. However, in September 2008 the islands received a double whammy: back-to-back hurricanes—Hurricane Hanna and Hurricane Ike were just a week apart. During Hanna, a Category 1 storm, the eye passed over Provo an unusual three times; the storm then remained stationary over the island for almost four full days, dumping rain 24 hours a day. No one had prepared for Hanna, because forecasts had not shown it passing anywhere close to Provo. Unfortunately, less than a week later, Hurricane Ike passed through the island chain. Most buildings on Provo lost roof shingles and basic landscaping, but the island miraculously bounced back fairly quickly—given that it was a Category 4.

On Grand Turk, Salt Cay, and South Caicos it was a different story entirely. There was so much destruction and disarray that it took months just to restore power to the islands. Construction companies from Provo sent workers over quickly to help restore these harder-hit islands, and the cruise lines that call in to Grand Turk also sent help so that the cruise stops could resume with only a month’s hesitation in their schedule. In 2011 Hurricane Irene hit Turks and Caicos as a Category 2, but this time everyone was prepared, and the storm caused no major damage.

Today it's as if these storms never happened. If you are traveling to the islands during hurricane season, it's always wise to get travel insurance: you are not really in danger visiting TCI, but if the flights are canceled or your hotel closes, you're covered. If a hurricane occurs while you're there, airlines add additional flights so that all wishing to leave can catch a flight out. If you want to ride it out, the resorts are built to withstand almost anything. Storms travel quickly, often with beautiful blue days right behind—and most likely another major hurricane won’t strike for another 50 years.

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