Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Ophelia upgraded to Cat 1 hurricane

Ophelia upgraded to Cat 1 hurricane

This means it will be much closer to Europe by this weekend than the U.S. There will likely be impacts for Ireland by early next week.

Ophelia is now located about 785 miles southwest of the Azores, a group of autonomous Portuguese islands in the North Atlantic.

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The Miami-based hurricane center says Ophelia could strengthen some more over the next 48 hours.

Ophelia is the 10th hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic season. But the storm seems to be heading east towards the coast of Spain instead of crossing the Atlantic towards the hurricane-ravaged Caribbean. This has not happened in 124 years, or since 1893. If Ophelia is able to reach hurricane status it will be the 10th consecutive named storm to become a hurricane.

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While Ophelia may lose the technical aspects that make it a hurricane, it could still pack a punch.

Hurricane season runs through the end of November in the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. The official forecast for Ophelia calls for the hurricane to peak at 85 miles per hour Thursday and Friday. That's a bit of an unusual track for Atlantic storms.

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The Weather Network forecast that Ophelia will merge with another system as it approaches the United Kingdom and Ireland before veering east. A named storm is classified as anything that becomes a tropical storm, which has sustained winds above 38 miles per hour. Strongest winds are far from the center and higher in the atmosphere.

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