Hurricane Ophelia strengthens to Category 2 storm, NHC says

Randall Padilla
October 14, 2017

"A combination of a vigorous Atlantic weather system and the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia will pass close to Ireland on Monday, and has the potential to be a high-impact event in parts of the country", stated Met Eireann.

Hurricane Alex was a Category 1 hurricane and passed by the west of the archipelago, whereas Hurricane Ophelia is Category 2 and is heading for the east.

Hurricane Ophelia is beating an usual path. Temperatures in the mid-Atlantic are typically too cool for hurricanes to develop.

The storm is now producing incredibly strong winds, however the Met Office say when it hits the United Kingdom and Ireland we can expect gusts of between 55 and 65mph, possibly even reaching up to 80mph in some places.

The National Hurricane Center predicts that Ophelia will transition to a post-tropical cyclone by Sunday night or Monday, but winds will remain at or above hurricane force at it moves towards Ireland. Its top sustained winds were clocked at 90 miles per hour (150 kph) and the storm is moving to the north-northeast at 2 miles per hour (4 kph).

Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours.

As of 10 a.m. CDT Thursday, Hurricane Ophelia was located 715 miles southwest of the Azores and was moving north-northeast at 2 mph.

While the hurricane may lose momentum over the weekend, Ophelia will likely bring at least strong winds and rain to Ireland next week.

"These strong winds are forecast in association with the northward track of ex-Ophelia across or near to the west of the British Isles". The hurricane does not now pose a threat to any land.

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