Now, that we have looked at the key aspects of hurricane development, decay, and their key components, it is time to look at the most important aspect of a hurricane, or any tropical system, which is where it goes. Although their actual paths will differ during the course of a season, hurricanes usually follow three different patterns based on their origin. These patterns are as follows:
At Left: Image of Hurricane Rita prior to slamming into the Louisiana Bayou in September 2005.
- Originating off the West Coast of Africa – Near the Cape Verde Islands, and traveling westward toward the Caribbean and the East Coast of the United States.
- Originating in the Western Caribbean – Then moving into the Gulf Coast, or along the East Coast of the United States.
- Originating In the Gulf of Mexico – Then moving into the Gulf Coast states from Texas to Florida.
Note: It is important to emphasize that these storms do not always follow these patterns by the book, and are often affected by overall weather patterns at that particular point during the hurricane season.