10th hurricane of 2017 season forms in Atlantic

Doug Mendoza
October 12, 2017

The hurricane center says some strengthening is in the forecast and Ophelia is expected to become a hurricane any time Wednesday or Thursday.

Hurricane Ophelia formed Wednesday in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

The hurricane center expects Ophelia to top out as a Category 1 hurricane with 80 miles per hour winds before becoming a post-tropical or extra-tropical system toward the end of the 5-day forecast period.

Tropical Storm Ophelia is moving southeastward in the Atlantic and is expected to become a hurricane overnight or on Thursday. On average through this date, we only have nine named storms - five hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

Well off in the Atlantic Ocean, Ophelia poses no threat to the United States. It is possible that this has happened since 1893, but we didn't have the technology to see it.

It is unlikely Ophelia makes a direct hit on the Azores, but, at a minimum, some outer rain bands and gusty winds could impact eastern portions of the Portuguese archipelago this weekend.

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The current forecast has Ophelia becoming subtropical before it reaches the Iberian Peninsula.

"If I only had conventional satellite imagery, I would definitely estimate that Ophelia was a hurricane", NHC forecaster Lixion Avila said.

Only 15 hurricanes have passed within 200 nautical miles of the Azores since 1851, according to NOAA's historical hurricane database.

Tropical Storm Ophelia is expected to strengthen to a hurricane as it spins far out over the Atlantic.

This could bring a blast of high winds to the Emerald Isle, particularly the western half of Ireland early next week.

Other reports by GizPress

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