Ophelia becomes 10th hurricane of the season

Posted October 12, 2017

The storm is moving east at 3 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said in an update Wednesday afternoon.

Enter Ophelia, the 10th hurricane of the hyperactive 2017 Atlantic season, which could be headed toward Ireland in about five days.

More information about the hurricane can be found online.

Ophelia had winds of 70 miles per hour and could "become a hurricane at any time today or tomorrow", the hurricane center said.

This would tie the record for the most consecutive Atlantic named storms reaching hurricane strength, which also happened in three other years: 1878, 1886 and 1893, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, Colorado State University tropical meteorologist.

9 around 5 a.m. EDT as the seventeenth, tropical depression of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season.

"If I only had conventional satellite imagery, I would definitely estimate that Ophelia was a hurricane", NHC forecaster Lixion Avila said. That's a bit of an unusual track for Atlantic storms.

It is unlikely Ophelia makes a direct hit on the Azores, but, at a minimum, some outer rain bands and gusty winds could impact eastern portions of the Portuguese archipelago this weekend.

Earlier forecasts had suggested Ophelia could approach Spain and Portugal's Iberian Peninsula as a tropical system, which would have been unprecedented. Only 15 known hurricanes have passed within 200 nautical miles of the Azores since 1851. Then Ophelia will curve north towards Ireland's west coast as a post-tropical storm. Strongest winds are far from the center and higher in the atmosphere.