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Hurricane Ophelia strengthens to Category 2 storm, NHC says
November 22 2017, 06:00 | Irvin Gilbert
Winds of up to 80 are expected
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.
Britain's Meteorological Office also warned of very windy weather Monday in Northern Ireland, Scotland and northern England.
According to JLT Re's Hurricane Activity report, as of 8am Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) today (13 October) Ophelia had strengthened to a Cat 2 Hurricane, with peak wind speeds of 104 miles per hour.
The storm, which poses no immediate threat to land, was located Friday about 545 miles (875 kilometers) southwest of the Azores.
Ophelia should no longer be a hurricane by the time it reaches Ireland, but will still whip up a powerful storm, the United States hurricane centre predicted.
There are now no coastal watches or warnings in effect.
"Although the track guidance keeps the center offshore of the Azores, a tropical storm watch or warning could be needed for the eastern Azores on Thursday because of the forecasted increase in wind radii in the northwestern quadrant of the cyclone", hurricane center forecasters said Thursday. It's unlikely it will be a threat to US, although it could possibly be a threat to Ireland, the NHC said Wednesday.
Forecasters said Ophelia will likely bring some impacts to those areas, but it's still too early to say what they will be.