Ophelia strengthens to a Category 2 hurricane

Today's rainfall radar. Oh yeah  Source Met Éireann

Farther to the east, Ireland and the United Kingdom are also watching Ophelia's track, which could bring hurricane conditions to some areas there early next week.

Ophelia is the record 10th consecutive storm in the Atlantic this season to reach hurricane intensity, following on from the devastation of Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia and Maria in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Ophelia strengthened to a Category 2 storm, swirling far from land in the eastern Atlantic, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center's (NHC) latest advisory.

"Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours".

The latest computer models predict that Northern Ireland and Scotland will bear the full brunt of the storm on Monday but strong winds and heavy rain will also lash northern England.

Hurricane Ophelia is beating an usual path. Temperatures in the mid-Atlantic are typically too cool for hurricanes to develop.

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The 10th hurricane of the 2017 hurricane season has formed in the Atlantic ocean, although at present, it poses no threat to land. Tropical Storm Ophelia is moving southeastward in the Atlantic and is expected to become a hurricane overnight or on Thursday.

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"These strong winds are forecast in association with the northward track of ex-Ophelia across or near to the west of the British Isles".

Experts believe Hurricane Ophelia will increase the speed at which it moves across the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday.

The latest NOAA 5am update shows maximum sustained winds are near 85 miles per hour with the highest gusts.

Alex Burkhill, a Met Office forecaster, said: "Ophelia became a hurricane overnight and the forecast track takes it eastwards towards Iberia for the weekend.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km)", said the U.S. Hurricane Centre. The hurricane does not now pose a threat to any land.

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