Tropical Storm Ophelia not a hurricane yet; no threat to the US


The U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory Wednesday afternoon that Ophelia gained hurricane status as its top sustained winds reached 75 miles per hour. He says a combination of slightly warmer than normal water and weak upper level winds helped make that hurricane streak. On average through this date, we only have nine named storms - five hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

Tropical Storm Ophelia is moving southeastward in the Atlantic and is expected to become a hurricane overnight or on Thursday. Ophelia is the tenth named storm in a row to become a hurricane, which ties a record.

Forecasters expect Ophelia to continue to slowly move on a northeast track before accelerating toward Europe.

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Tropical Storm Ophelia has strengthened a little far out in the eastern Atlantic, still forecast to become a hurricane later in the week. The other years with ten consecutive hurricanes are 1878, 1886 and 1893.

Center officials said the hurricane is forecast to drift northeastward over the next 24 hours.

Ophalia is presently the only storm the NHC is tracking in the Atlantic or Pacific.

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After it has hit Portugal, the remnants of Ophelia could bring strong winds to the UK.

The current forecast has Ophelia becoming subtropical before it reaches the Iberian Peninsula.

Only 15 hurricanes have passed within 200 nautical miles of the Azores since 1851, according to NOAA's historical hurricane database. On Wednesday afternoon, hurricane-force winds from Ophelia extended outward up to 25 miles from its center.

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