Hurricane & Tropical Storm Information

Visit Lauderdale, the official destination marketing organization for Broward County, FL, is committed to sharing and updating weather information so that residents and visitors alike can feel safe and make conscious travel decisions.

Summer afternoon rain showers or thunderstorms are typical in Florida but there is also the possibility that more serious storms might form. Luckily, weather forecasters closely monitor any tropical weather disturbance and they can predict the path the storm is most likely to take. We will post information whenever a storm is looming that might impact Greater Fort Lauderdale. 

This page will be updated regularly if storm advisories are issued. 

Helpful links for hurricanes/tropical storm information:
National Hurricane Center -
National Weather Service - 
The Weather Channel - 
USA Today Travel & Weather -
Visit Florida - 
Florida Hurricane Center -
National Climatic Data Center - 
Florida Division of Emergency Management -
Broward County Hurricane Alerts & Information -
Florida Traffic & Commuter Information -
Sign up for Alert Broward emergency notifications
Follow @ReadyBroward on Twitter

Frequently Asked Travel Questions About Hurricane Season

QWhen is hurricane season?
A: The Atlantic hurricane season is officially June 1 through November 30, with the peak of the season considered mid-August to mid-October.

QWhat is a hurricane?
A: A tropical cyclone with winds of 74 miles per hour (118 kilometers) or greater that occurs in the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern North Pacific Ocean.

Q: What is a tropical storm? 
A tropical cyclone with winds of 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 kilometers) or greater.

QWhat is the difference between a hurricane or topical storm warning and a hurricane or tropical storm watch?
A: The National Hurricane Center is the agency responsible for monitoring and issuing watches and warnings in the Atlantic and Northeast basins. A warning is issued when hurricane or tropical storm conditions are expected within 24-36 hours, and a watch when hurricane or tropical storm conditions are possible within 36-48 hours. If a warning or watch is issued, visitors should begin preliminary preparations for potential evacuation of hotels and airport delays or flight cancellations. Residents and visitors should monitor local news and weather reports to learn about potential street flooding from heavy rain or possible storm surge and high winds. 

QWhat is the Eye of the storm? What are rain bands? 
A: The hurricane eye is a relatively calm area about 20-40 miles in diameter with fare weather including partly cloudy skies and light winds. The eye wall, the area surrounding the eye is the most precarious with dense clouds and the highest force winds of a storm. The storm's outer rain bands are the bands of clouds and thunderstorms that trail away from the eye wall in a spiral fashion and are capable of producing heavy bursts of rain and wind that can extend outward from 25 miles in a small hurricane to more than 150 miles for a large one. The right side of a hurricane is usually the most dangerous in terms of storm surge, winds, and tornadoes.

Q:Is it safe to travel to Greater Fort Lauderdale during hurricane season?
A: Absolutely! It is a great time of year for vacationers to travel to Greater Fort Lauderdale. During the summer and fall months there are excellent opportunities to take advantage of the value season in the destination. As with most weather occurrences, nature is unpredictable. Fortunately with hurricanes, there is usually ample time to prepare for a possible storm affecting the area.

QWhat should I do if I am visiting Greater Fort Lauderdale and a hurricane threatens the area?
A: Visit Lauderdale actively works with Broward County emergency management officials who keep in constant contact with the National Hurricane Center, based in South Florida. The tourism bureau provides official updates to hotel management in the event there is a need to evacuate. Information regarding lodging availability located inland from the beach is provided to beach and waterfront hotels that would receive possible evacuation orders. If there is a storm threat, check with the hotel's front desk and visit the Visit Lauderdale website hotels section at Should a storm threaten, for safety reasons, visitors are always asked to evacuate beachfront and waterfront hotels temporarily until a hurricane warning is lifted. Although emergency officials will err on the side of caution, evacuation orders are only given if there is a significant storm threat.

QI'm visiting Greater Fort Lauderdale and there is an order to evacuate the hotel I am staying. Where can I go and how do I get there?
A: There are several options. Check with the front desk or hotel concierge regarding availability at another hotel farther inland. Visit Lauderdale works cooperatively with area hotels to advise on available vacancies in the area. The bureau's housing services department will also post information on the Greater Fort Lauderdale website at

If visitors do not want to change hotels or can not find availability in a similar level accommodation, Broward County will provide visitors the opportunity to evacuate to a hurricane shelter while a hurricane warning is in effect for the area their accommodations are located. If visitors do not have a rental car or their own car while visiting, the County provides buses and shuttles to local hurricane shelters. 

Q: I have immediate plans to travel to Greater Fort Lauderdale, but an evacuation has been ordered for the area I am scheduled to stay. Can I continue with those plans? 
A: If an evacuation is ordered for the barrier islands and beach areas, the hotels in these areas will not be open for business and will be in the process of relocating guests to inland hotels or shelters. If you travel to Greater Fort Lauderdale, you will not be permitted on the barrier islands. Furthermore, most, if not all visitor facilities will not be open for business in preparation for the hurricane. It's best to reschedule travel plans to visit Greater Fort Lauderdale once the storm has passed and access to the beach areas is restored.

QWhen can we resume our vacation to Greater Fort Lauderdale? 
A: Visitors can resume their vacation plans once the storm has passed and any restricted access to the beaches has been lifted. If the storm has impacted Greater Fort Lauderdale, visitors can resume vacation plans once electricity, road access and other infrastructure are restored. Check the Greater Fort Lauderdale website at for the latest information concerning the status of the area.

QWhat about lodging refunds? 
A: Each property has its own refund policy. Visit Lauderdale strongly urges the hospitality community in Broward County to provide refunds of unused nights as soon as local officials issue a visitor evacuation order. The majority of properties subscribe to this standard. Prior to making a reservation, it is prudent for the visitor to have a clear understanding about a particular lodging facility's refund policies in the event of a hurricane threat. Several travel insurance plans are available from companies that can provide additional fiscal protection. Contact your travel agent for details or search online. 

Q: What positive impacts do hurricanes and other storms have on Florida's delicate eco-system?
A: - Scrubs harmful algae from coral reefs. 
    - Prunes dead limbs from trees allowing sunlight to penetrate the forest floor. 
    - Deposits sand on the barrier islands making them higher and wider. 
    - Moderates global temperature. 
    - Rain helps to refill South Florida's aquifer, a source for drinking water. 
    - The water flow in natural springs increases. 
    - Wildlife benefits from the increased water. 
    - Dried out wetlands are re-hydrated.