Tropical Storm Ophelia expected to become a hurricane

Tropical storm Ophelia path track

Ophelia is the 10th hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic season.

Only 15 hurricanes have passed within 200 nautical miles of the Azores since 1851, according to NOAA's historical hurricane database.

Ophelia, which the National Hurricane Center upgraded to a hurricane around 4:30 p.m., ties a streak set in 1878 and reached again in 1996 and 1893, according to Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University specializing in Atlantic Basin seasonal hurricane forecasts.

Ophelia is forecast to drift slowly east for the next day or so before stronger upper-level winds arrive later this week and accelerate it toward the east-northeast just south of the Azores.

"And if separated, there would be a tropical storm tossed in the mix of all the hurricanes", Moses tweeted on Tuesday. Forecasters say slight strengthening is possible over the next couple of days. This means the storm isn't moving from east to west, like most Atlantic hurricanes. The severity of the impact on Ireland due to Hurricane Ophelia would depend on the exact track followed by the Category 1 storm in the next few days.

According to the Met Office, Ireland and the United Kingdom can expect plenty of wind and rain early next week after a weekend when temperatures will be unseasonably high and could reach as high as 20 degrees in places.

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

Ophelia is moving northeast at 3 miles per hour (6 kph).

Only two known storms have hit the Iberian Peninsula - one in 1842, and one in 2005.

Tropical Storm Ophelia is moving southeastward in the Atlantic and is expected to become a hurricane overnight or on Thursday.

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