Hurricane season ends on November 30. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Ophelia is expected to become a hurricane by Wednesday.
Perhaps the most impressive statistic is that if Ophelia strengthens to a hurricane, which it is forecast to do, it will be the tenth consecutive hurricane.
The storm's current path shows it maintaining hurricane strength as it moves through the Atlantic offshore Portugal, before reaching Ireland as a post-tropical or extratropical storm, which could still have wind speeds greater than 39 miles per hour, sometime early Monday morning.
Ophelia is not a threat to United States land, but is raising a few concerns in western Europe.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said at 5 p.m. Tuesday that Ophelia had top sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (95 kph). On average through this date, we only have nine named storms - five hurricanes and two major hurricanes. This has not happened in 124 years, or since 1893. If it picks up speed, it could intensify over the next day or so, then encounter increasing wind shear in three days that should cause it to weaken and fall apart over the weekend, National Hurricane Center forecasters said.
Ophalia is presently the only storm the NHC is tracking in the Atlantic or Pacific.
With the organization of Tropical Storm Ophelia, there have now been 15 named storms this season.
The current forecast has Ophelia becoming subtropical before it reaches the Iberian Peninsula. Strongest winds are far from the center and higher in the atmosphere.
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