Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Ophelia upgraded to Cat 1 hurricane

Ophelia upgraded to Cat 1 hurricane

Hurricane Ophelia, which formed this afternoon, is the 10th consecutive hurricane this season, putting 2017 in a unique club that includes just three previous years that have spawned ten hurricanes in a row.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said at 5 p.m. Tuesday that Ophelia had top sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (95 kph).

Right now, Ophelia is moving east at about 3 miles per hour and is expected to gradually turn northeast by Thursday night.

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

No threats to land are reported at this time. Through today, October 11, we've had 15 named storms - 10 of which have been hurricanes, and 5 of those 10 became major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).

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Ophelia could brush by the Azores this weekend. Ophelia's path then takes it fairly close to Spain and Portugal on the Iberian Peninsula, but current forecasts suggest the storm will most likely remain offshore.

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

It now has maximum sustained winds of 50mph, but will reach at least 74mph as it approaches western Europe.

Ophelia is over only marginally warm enough waters to sustain a tropical cyclone, but the upper atmosphere is crushingly cold causing enough instability for a hurricane to form, said Bob Henson, a meteorologist and blogger with Weather Underground.

The storm is not now a threat to any land.

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