Are you in the process of planning a destination wedding? Do not forget your seasons. And, no, I'm not referring to Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. I'm referring to Fire, Hurricane and Tornado.
The recent fires in the western United States are a reminder that Nature can sometimes take an ugly turn. But, often times, these "ugly turns" are really part of predictable "seasons" that, if we are aware of them, can help us make informed decisions.
Let's take a look at some of these "seasons" and how they might affect your wedding plans:
The western United States (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah) has what is called a "fire season" that usually runs from late April until the end of October. Fed by Drought (as in the case of the Arizona), low humidity, lightening strikes and winds, they can burn thousands of acres and threaten communities and resorts. What are some popular wedding destinations which might be affected by fire season? June, 2006 saw the evacuation of parts of the resort town of Sedona, Arizona, including the Oak Creek Canyon area, a location very popular for destination weddings. This fire also stranded visitors to the Grand Canyon, who were cut off from other northern Arizona towns by road closures.
The resort areas of Big Bear and Idyllwild in California are also destinations for those wanting to get married in the mountains of California. In recent years both areas have been hard hit during fire season. Fire season also affects the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and the mountains surrounding Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Hurricane / Cyclone Season:
The Atlantic hurricane season officially leaves from June 1 to November 30 and affects the Southeastern United States of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and parts of Texas (in addition to bringing heavy rains and flooding to neighboring states). The Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean are also affected. The cyclone season in Australia extends from November to April. What popular wedding destinations might be disrupted by hurricanes? Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a popular wedding destination, as are the beaches of Florida, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. If you're planning a quick elopement to these areas, it's good to get up-to-date hurricane news from the National Weather Service National Hurricane Center Tropical Prediction Center, http://www.nhc.noaa.gov . Globally, September is the most active month and May is the least active month for hurricane / cyclone activity, according to the Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) ( http://www.aoml.noaa.gov .)
Tornado season is generally March through August, with 74% of all tornadoes occurring between March 1 and July 31. Although tornados can occur in many locations, they occur most often in the central part of the United States known as "Tornado Alley." Tornado Alley affects all of Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas and parts of Texas, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Keep the seasons in mind when planning your destination wedding. Of course, just because there is a season for these natural occurrences, it does not mean your particular destination will be affected. Should you decide to have your wedding in one of these areas, however, it's always a good idea to be informed of weather updates, and safety precautions you should take in the event of a fire, flood, hurricane or tornado. Being prepared and informed can help prevent the best day of your life from turning into a disaster.