Once it begins approaching North America, a Cape Verde hurricane has several basic tracks.
- It can continue to the west, and if it is far enough south, it will cross the Windward Islands into theCaribbean Sea. From there it will often continue westward into Nicaragua, Honduras, or Belize.
- If the storm is further north, it can travel up the Leeward Islands and into the Greater Antilles. In 1998,Hurricane Georges took a track of this nature. Slightly further north, and the storm will track through theBahamas and into Florida in the manner of 1992's Hurricane Andrew.
- A more northerly storm will begin to have its track affected by the high pressure that generally occurs over the eastern Atlantic in late summer. As these storms pass north of the Antilles, their tracks begin to curve to the north. Often this results in the storms making landfall in North or South Carolina. Hurricane Hugowas a typical example. If the storm's track is affected significantly, it will often curve back out to sea, where it becomes extratropical over cooler water. An example of such was Hurricane Edouard in 1996. Occasionally storms following this track can accelerate to the north and strike New England. The New England Hurricane of 1938 and Hurricane Gloria in 1985 were two such cases.
- Sometimes, the subtropical ridge is farther west than usual such that the storm recurves quickly and is driven around the east side of the ridge in the central Atlantic, generally missing land completely. An example of such was Hurricane Philippe in 2005.
Note that while these tracks are typical, Cape Verde hurricanes are not bound to follow them and often do not.
Because this type of hurricane takes a near-westward path that starts in the eastern Atlantic, they can avoid the two situations that typically end the life of a tropical cyclone: interaction with land, and movement over cool water. Since they can go for several weeks without having either affect them, Cape Verde-type hurricanes are some of the longest-lived storms. Hurricane Faith, the third longest lasting Atlantic hurricane on record, was a Cape Verde hurricane. It lasted 16 days total and was a hurricane for 13.
Major Cape Verde-type hurricanes
The category is the peak intensity of the hurricane, measured on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
|1899||1899 Hurricane San Ciriaco||4|
|1900||Galveston Hurricane of 1900||4|
|1926||1926 Miami Hurricane||4|
|1928||1928 Okeechobee Hurricane||5|
|1938||New England Hurricane of 1938,|
or the Long Island Express
|1947||1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane||5|