What is the general time line between a tropical wave off of the coast of Africa and a hurricane hitting land in the Carolinas? My guess is 10 to 14 days.
Posted August 7, 2007
MIKE MOSS SAYS: Kylie, Your guess is right on target! While the systems can move a little faster at times or slow down and stall at others, the ones that do start as African tropical waves and eventually make landfall in the eastern United States often take about two weeks to make the trip, give or take a few days. Just to take a few "F" storms as examples, the wave that became Hurricane Fran in 1996 departed the African coast on Aug 22nd 1996 and made landfall in our state the evening of Sep 5th. The wave that became Hurricane Floyd emerged from west Africa Sep 2nd 1999 and moved into NC Sep 16th, and Hurricane Frances in 2004 departed Africa Aug 21st and moved ashore in Florida on Sep 5th.