Hurricane Ophelia 'accelerating' in the Atlantic, forecasters say

The sun above Dublin this morning at 8.30am  Source

The sun above Dublin this morning at 8.30am Source

Hurricane Ophelia is getting even bigger as it makes its way across the Atlantic and towards the shores of Britain.

Hurricane Ophelia, a category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, is now about 615 miles southwest of the Azores, according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Ophelia became a hurricane Wednesday, the 10th hurricane in the Atlantic in 2017.

The Miami-based hurricane center says Ophelia should lose a little strength in the next 48 hours but is expected to remain a hurricane for the next couple of days.

The latest computer models predict that Northern Ireland and Scotland will bear the full brunt of the storm on Monday but strong winds and heavy rain will also lash northern England. However, as CNN reports, Ophelia is much farther north than the average hurricane, meaning it's not subject to tropical east-to-west-moving winds, and can instead drift north and east. That's a bit of an unusual track for Atlantic storms.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm was located Thursday about 715 miles (1,145 kilometers) southwest of the Azores.

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No coastal watches or warnings are in effect, though forecasters say residents of the eastern Azores should keep an eye on the storm.

Ophelia follows the massive hurricanes that battered the Caribbean and the south-east US last month, however it is a separate system.

"These strong winds are forecast in association with the northward track of ex-Ophelia across or near to the west of the British Isles".

The latest NOAA 5am update shows maximum sustained winds are near 85 miles per hour with the highest gusts.

Experts at the U.S. Hurricane Centre confirmed gusts of 100mph are now emanating from the centre of the hurricane.

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