Hurricane Ophelia's winds strengthen to 85 miles per hour on slow trek toward Ireland

Tropical Storm Ophelia to Become Record-Tying 10th Straight Atlantic Hurricane Soon, Then an Intense Post-Tropical

The last time a season produced 10 consecutive hurricanes was in 1893, according to Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach - a period when tracking hurricanes largely relied on ships and barometric readings. The severity of the impact on Ireland due to Hurricane Ophelia would depend on the exact track followed by the Category 1 storm in the next few days.

Well off in the Atlantic Ocean, Ophelia poses no threat to the United States.

Late Wednesday, hurricane-force winds extended up to 25 miles from Ophelia's center and tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 70 miles.




Tropical Storm Ophelia is expected to strengthen to a hurricane as it spins far out over the Atlantic. Forecasters say slight strengthening is possible over the next couple of days. It is also expected to make a gradual turn to the northeast starting Thursday night. Its rainbands could hit the southern part of the Azores islands by the weekend and possibly reach Spain and Portugal on the Iberian Peninsula.

If Ophelia becomes a hurricane it will be the ninth so far this year in the Atlantic.

Hurricane Ophelia may make landfall in Ireland on Monday. 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. It is now forecast to stay west of Portugal before bringing gusty winds and rain to Ireland early next week. 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).

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