Hurricane Ophelia is headed toward Ireland — path, track, updates

Hurricane Ophelia is headed toward Ireland — path, track, updates

hurricane ophelia huracan tormenta
Hurricane Center

Hurricane Ophelia is the latest weather system to whip up winds
and rain in the Atlantic. But the storm is heading east toward
the northwest coast of Spain and then up to Ireland instead of
crossing the Atlantic toward the hurricane-ravaged Caribbean.

Ophelia officially gained hurricane status on Wednesday evening,

according to the National Hurricane Center

As of
Thursday afternoon
, Ophelia was meandering and expected to
move slowly east and northeast. The storm has picked up
strength and become a Category 2 hurricane with sustained
winds of 100 mph and higher gusts.

Some of Ophelia’s rain bands are likely to hit the Azores islands
over the weekend. Ophelia’s projected path then takes it in the
direction of Spain and Portugal on the Iberian Peninsula, but
current forecasts suggest the storm will gradually turn to the
north and remain well offshore.

Only two known storms have hit the Iberian Peninsula — one in
1842, and one in 2005. The most recent was a tropical depression
that was previously Hurricane Vince.

After Ophelia moves past Spain, forecasters say it could hit the
Irish coast on Monday as an post-tropical storm, but still
with hurricane-force winds.

hurricane ophelia winds
when Ophelia’s tropical storm-force winds are most likely to

Hurricane Center

The Irish coast and parts of the UK could experience punishing
winds and dangerous waves.

This is the 10th consecutive storm to reach hurricane strength in
the Atlantic this season,
tying the record
also met in 1878, 1886 and 1893.

There are a couple of caveats to that record, however, as Brian
Donegan, a Weather Channel meteorologist,
recently wrote
: A streak-disrupting tropical storm could
easily have been missed in those 19th-century years, and this
season’s Hurricane Lee might be reevaluated to count as two

There have been 15 named storms so far this hurricane season,
including Ophelia. That stat — combined with the number of major
hurricanes we’ve seen and the overall cyclone energy generated by
the storms — make this an
extremely active Atlantic hurricane season
by the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s standards. Hurricane
season continues until November 30.

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