Ophelia Becomes 10th Atlantic Hurricane of 2017, No Land Threat

Hurricane Ophelia path track map

Hurricane Ophelia path track map

University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy says Ophelia is the 10th straight tropical storm to become a hurricane in an Atlantic season. Could western Europe be the next land area afflicted by a powerhouse storm this terrible hurricane season?

The National Hurricane Center said Ophelia is now a Category 1 storm located about 760 miles southwest of the Azores.

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Wind shear - which could disrupt the storm's development - is light, and it is passing over sea surface temperatures much warmer than normal, which should help it sustain hurricane strength through at least Friday.

The 10th hurricane of the 2017 hurricane season has formed in the Atlantic ocean, although at present, it poses no threat to land. It is possible that this has happened since 1893, but we didn't have the technology to see it.

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"This is a relatively unusual track for a hurricane to take, but it's not unheard of", said UK Met Office forecaster Aiden McGivern in a video. The storm may still be capable of producing powerful winds, on the order of 60 to 80 miles per hour, when it makes its closest approach to Ireland and the United Kingdom, which it's forecast to do on Monday.

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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After moving past Spain, forecasters expect Ophelia to come quite close to the Irish coast as a strong storm on Monday.

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