Ophelia Becomes 10th Atlantic Hurricane of 2017, No Land Threat

Marie Harrington
October 12, 2017

Well off in the Atlantic Ocean, Ophelia poses no threat to the United States.

Ophelia is over only marginally warm enough waters to sustain a tropical cyclone, but the upper atmosphere is crushingly cold causing enough instability for a hurricane to form, said Bob Henson, a meteorologist and blogger with Weather Underground. That ties the record for most consecutive hurricane-strength storms in the Atlantic Basin. This means the storm isn't moving from east to west, like most Atlantic hurricanes.

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. This has not happened in 124 years, or since 1893.

"Lee could easily be counted as two storms", tweeted Brenden Moses, a hurricane researcher at the National Hurricane Center in Coral Gables, Florida, specializing in the historical hurricane database.

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Hurricane season ends on November 30.

While Ophelia may lose the technical aspects that make it a hurricane, it could still pack a punch.

Ophelia is the strongest storm to develop so far east in the Atlantic since 2009, tweeted Klotzbach,. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center.

"If I only had conventional satellite imagery, I would definitely estimate that Ophelia was a hurricane", NHC forecaster Lixion Avila said.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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