• Hurricanes that hit the Americas tend to follow a similar course.
  • That’s because most come from the same place in the world - Africa. 
  • There’s a point off the coast near Cape Verde where dry, hot air from the Sahara Desert meets with the cool, moist air from the south.
  • These powerful winds are known as the African Easterly Jet.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

Most of the hurricanes that hit the United States come from Africa. It's a point off West Africa’s coast near Cape Verde.

High altitude winds form as a result of two clashing climates. The hot, dry Sahara dessert and the cooler, wetter regions to the south. The powerful winds are known as the African Easterly Jet.

This is the key ingredient for intense hurricanes that reach the US. Unlike weather in the US that moves west to east the African Easterly Jet marches east to west. The jet builds strength over the year.

Its strongest winds are in September. These winds interact with warm equatorial waters and triggers rising columns of want, moist air over the Atlantic.  These columns can spawn thunderstorms with rapidly rotating winds.

When wind speed reaches 120 kilometers per hour (kph) it becomes a Category 1 hurricane. If the conditions are right, wind speeds can surpass 250kph - that's a Category 5 hurricane, one of the most violent storms on Earth.

Most of the storms break up over islands in the Caribbean sea of the east coast of the US. But some will pass over Mexico and live on in the Pacific.

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