Hurricane Ophelia becomes 10th Atlantic hurricane of 2017 season


With the organization of Tropical Storm Ophelia, there have now been 15 named storms this season.

The storm's maximum sustained winds early Tuesday are near 50 miles per hour (85 kph).

Forecasters expect Ophelia to continue in that general motion Thursday, but called for the storm to speed up while moving toward the northeast Friday.

As of 5 a.m. EDT, Ophelia, which isn't now a threat to any land, was centered about 785 miles (1,265 kilometers) southwest of the Azores and moving southeast near 6 mph (9 kph).

There were no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Additionally, the 2017 hurricane season has been busy - there were two Category 5 storms: Irma and Maria. A slow northeast drift is expected tonight and tomorrow, followed by an acceleration toward the east-northeast or northeast. Then Ophelia will curve north towards Ireland's west coast as a post-tropical storm. It is now forecast to stay west of Portugal before bringing gusty winds and rain to Ireland early next week.

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. However, according to Mashable, there is no way of telling for sure if the record was repeated in the latter half of the twentieth century, due to the absence of substantial satellite measurements at the time.

Previously, only two tropical cyclones have struck the coasts of Spain and Portugal in the past - a transitioning hurricane in October 1842 and Hurricane Vince, as a tropical depression, in October 2005.

There are no possibilities of Ophelia impacting the United States as it heads to Europe next week, according to Weather. That's a bit of an unusual track for Atlantic storms.