Met Office issues severe weather alert as Hurricane Ophelia approaches

The sun above Dublin this morning at 8.30am  Source
The sun above Dublin this morning at 8.30am Source
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15 October, 2017

Hurricane Ophelia is continuing to pack a punch as it accelerates to the east-northeast across the Atlantic.

Hurricane Ophelia, which had been expected to lose strength as it neared the Azores has instead strengthened to a Category 2 storm as it heads towards the UK.

Ophelia may not threaten the USA - but it could move near the Azores islands, and the National Hurricane Center on Thursday cautioned those in the islands to keep an eye on the storm.

The storm, which poses no immediate threat to land, was located Friday about 545 miles (875 kilometers) southwest of the Azores.

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Hurricane Ophelia, the latest storm to form in a record 10 consecutive hurricanes this season, is forecast to hit Ireland in what could be the country's strongest storm since 1961, Bloomberg reports. That would keep the center of the storm south of most of the Azores, but close enough that a tropical storm watch or warning might be issued later today.

And those in Ireland and the United Kingdom may have to watch it too.

It said Ophelia, rare for its location and a powerful Category 3 storm with top sustained winds of 114 miles per hour (185 km/h), was the sixth major hurricane of the Atlantic season. McNoldy says a combination of slightly warmer than normal water and weak upper level winds helped make that hurricane streak. There were two others, Harvey and Jose, that reached Category 4 strength.


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