Ophelia becomes a hurricane, tying century-old record

Posted October 12, 2017

Its core was located about 785 miles (1,265 kilometers) southwest of the Azores and it was moving to the southeast at 6 mph (9 kph).

Ophelia strengthened into a hurricane Wednesday afternoon.

There are now no coastal watches or warnings in effect with the storm far out at sea.

Ophelia became a hurricane late Wednesday, the tenth in a row and tying a record set more than a century ago. Through today, October 11, we've had 15 named storms - 10 of which have been hurricanes, and 5 of those 10 became major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).

Maximum sustained winds are near 50 miles per hour (85 km/h) with higher gusts.

Ophelia, located almost 800 miles southwest of the Azores, has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and was moving southeast at 6 mph, the hurricane center said.

By the time Ophelia reaches northern Europe, it may no longer be a tropical system, instead possibly transitioning into a powerful extratropical low pressure area.

"After that time, Ophelia is forecast to turn eastward, then northeastward and begin to accelerate by day three ahead of a deepening mid-latitude trough over the north-central Atlantic".

Ophelia is the strongest storm to develop so far east in the Atlantic since 2009, tweeted Klotzbach,.

Ophelia would become only the third tropical cyclone to hit the west coast of Portugal or Spain since records began, following a storm in October 1842 and Hurricane Vince (as a tropical depression) in October 2005.