A well-organized tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa on September 15. Showers and gusty winds were observed as the disturbance moved over the Cape Verde Islands on September 17. Over the following days convective activity increased over the system while strong ridging over the eastern Atlantic forced the system westward. Based on satellite imagery, the system was designated a tropical depression on September 19 and Tropical Storm Helene on September 20.
When it reached the mid-Atlantic, Helene's track turned northwest under the influence of a major trough. Favorable conditions allowed the storm to deepen at a moderate rate. On September 21 Helene became a hurricane over the mid-tropical Atlantic. The storm deepened further, reaching major hurricane status late on September 22 and Category 4 intensity on the following day.
On September 23 Helene turned northward under a secondary trough and continued moving in that direction for the next week. The hurricane gradually weakened to a minimal hurricane over the next several days. It approached the southern boundary of a strong jetstream on the September 28, which enhanced the storm's outflow and briefly restrengthened it. Helene's forward speed increased to 60 mph (97 km/h) on September 30 as the hurricane became extratropical over the north Atlantic. Observed as a hurricane for nine days via satellite, Helene was the longest-lived hurricane of the 1988 Atlantic season.Cincinnati Home Buildersbedding for toddler