Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Hurricane Ophelia meandering in the Atlantic

Hurricane Ophelia meandering in the Atlantic

While the ocean waters there are not as warm as those in the Caribbean, which allowed previous storms to reach peak intensity, they are warm enough to let Ophelia maintain hurricane strength for the next several days as it picks up speed.

University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy says Ophelia is the 10th straight tropical storm to become a hurricane in an Atlantic season. It is expected to make a close approach to the Azores as a Category 1 hurricane, though a direct landfall doesn't appear likely.

It is now around 760 miles south-west of the Portuguese Azore islands, whipping up 75mph winds as it trundles eastwards.

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The center of the storm will remain well offshore but high wind, heavy rain, and damaging surf will all be possible along the Iberian Peninsula.

However, the worst of the winds are expected to hit the West coast, reaching 150kph and potentially 160kph in the extreme West coast, by Monday night.

The storm caused damage estimated at £1billion and claimed 18 lives.

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The remnants of Ophelia are predicted to strike the British Isles on Sunday and although it will no longer be a hurricane, experts have warned it could still pack a punch.

Forecasters predict that Ireland, Northern Ireland and western portions of Britain will likely bear the brunt of Ophelia.

In contrast the east of England could see much nicer weather, with temperatures skyrocketing as the system arrives from the tropics.

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The remnants of Ophelia look set to reach the United Kingdom on Monday, with unsettled weather expected to cause disruption, the Met Office said.

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