Tropical Storm Ophelia Strengthening On Southeastern Trek
12 October, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez
It now has maximum sustained winds of 50mph, but will reach at least 74mph as it approaches western Europe.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory Wednesday afternoon that Ophelia gained hurricane status as its top sustained winds reached 75 miles per hour. This type of post-analysis occurs after every hurricane season, sometimes leading to the addition of previously unnamed storms or tweaking of tropical cyclone intensities.
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.
A Met Office spokeswoman said: "Having been a tropical system close to the point that it reaches the United Kingdom, the storm will have a lot of energy and there could be wet and windy weather on Monday". It's still early, though, and the exact path could change. The Met Office will release any necessary weather warnings later in the week. The next in line, Louisiana, has been hit only seven times in October.
By the time Ophelia reaches northern Europe, it may no longer be a tropical system, instead possibly transitioning into a powerful extratropical low pressure area.
The NOAA said in its latest update: "Ophelia is moving southeastward or 140/5 kt".
Ophelia is forecast to drift slowly east for the next day or so before stronger upper-level winds arrive later this week and accelerate it toward the east-northeast just south of the Azores.
Ophelia had winds of 70 miles per hour and could "become a hurricane at any time today or tomorrow", the hurricane center said.
Tropical Storm Ophelia is gaining strength and is just 4 miles per hour from becoming a hurricane, forecasters said Wednesday.
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