Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Storm expected to become Hurricane Ophelia, possibly by tonight

Storm expected to become Hurricane Ophelia, possibly by tonight

Ophelia is the 10 tropical storm in a row to reach the status of a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean this season, a record that was met in the years 1878, 1886 and 1893.

"I am not quite sure what to make of it", Dr Klotzbach told Bloomberg.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Ophelia's center is 745 miles (1,195 kilometers) southwest of the Azores late Wednesday. It is expected to follow in that general direction till Thursday and pick up speed by the beginning of Friday.

Ophelia, located almost 800 miles southwest of the Azores, has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and was moving southeast at 6 mph, the hurricane center said.

Slight strengthening is possible over the next day or two, forecasters said. Ophelia is set to brush past the Azores, the archipelago off the coast of Portugal.

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No coastal watches or warnings are in effect, though forecasters say residents of the eastern Azores should keep an eye on the storm.

There have been 15 named storms so far this hurricane season, including Ophelia. All of those occurred in August or September, except for Hurricane Fran in October 1973 and Hurricane Alex in January 2016, which made landfall shortly after weakening to a tropical storm. It is now forecast to stay west of Portugal before bringing gusty winds and rain to Ireland early next week.

Only two known storms have hit the Iberian Peninsula - one in 1842, and one in 2005. That's a bit of an unusual track for Atlantic storms.

The 2017 hurricane season was forecast by NOAA, and many other forecast products to be the busiest we have seen since 2010.

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