Discussion: Hurricane season is now officially over, but the time for hurricane education is never over. The topic of this article is about a specific type of hurricane and how they have impacted the United States in the past, including this year. The type of hurricane that is the subject of this article is the Cape Verde-type hurricane. Tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean start off the coast of Africa and from there, they develop as they cross the Atlantic. The location where they develop depends on several conditions. Cape Verde hurricanes typically develop from tropical waves form in the African savanna during the wet season, and then move into the African steppes. From there the disturbance(s) move westward and become tropical storms or tropical cyclones soon after moving off the coast, compared to other tropical cyclones, which typically develop farther west off the African coast.
These Cape Verde-type hurricanes often are among the strongest, longest-lasting tropical, and often most destructive of the hurricane season. These types of hurricanes occur on average two times per season. Due to forming right off the African coast, they have more time to develop over the warm Atlantic waters, giving them more of a chance to become major hurricanes (category 3+). Some examples of these long-lasting powerful Cape Verde type hurricanes are Hurricane Ivan in 2004, which became a category 5 hurricane and the second longest lasting Atlantic hurricane. Hurricane Irma of this year, which caused catastrophic damage to the United States, was another example of a Cape Verde type hurricane.
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©2017 Meteorologist Noah Hardy