Storm expected to become Hurricane Ophelia, possibly by tonight

After maintaining tropical storm status for several days, the National Hurricane Center officially upgraded Ophelia after satellite measurements of 75mph winds were recorded. It is expected to follow in that general direction till Thursday and pick up speed by the beginning of Friday.

Ophelia was no threat to the USA but could move near the Azores by the weekend.

Ophelia is forecast to track northeast through Monday.


The graphic shows the pathway of Hurricane Ophelia.

Ophelia will head east-northeast over the next few days and eventually make more of a northward turn through the weekend. The eye of the hurricane is expected to stay offshore. This means the storm isn't moving from east to west, like most Atlantic hurricanes.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect. It is now forecast to stay west of Portugal before bringing gusty winds and rain to Ireland early next week. The storm may still be capable of producing powerful winds, on the order of 60 to 80 miles per hour, when it makes its closest approach to Ireland and the United Kingdom, which it's forecast to do on Monday.


Although it initially seemed like Hurricane Ophelia was headed toward the already storm-battered Caribbean islands, it soon changed its course and instead of crossing the Atlantic Ocean, proceeded toward the coast of Spain instead, Business Insider reported.

This is the 10th consecutive storm to reach hurricane strength in the Atlantic this season, which ties the record also met in 1878, 1886 and 1893.

Only two other named storms have tracked within 200 nautical miles of the northwestern tip of Spain in NOAA's historical record, dating to 1851. Incidentally, all of them have arrived in the months of August or September, except for Hurricane Fran, which swept past the area in October 1973 and Hurricane Alex in January 2016.


Only two known storms have hit the Iberian Peninsula - one in 1842, and one in 2005. That stat - combined with the number of major hurricanes we've seen and the overall cyclone energy generated by the storms - make this an extremely active Atlantic hurricane season by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's standards.


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