Ophelia strengthens to a Category 2 hurricane

The sun above Dublin this morning at 8.30am  Source

The sun above Dublin this morning at 8.30am Source

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.

"Ophelia is moving at 12 miles per hour (19 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue through Saturday with an increase in forward speed", said the U.S. Hurricane Centre on Friday.

The NOAA NHC have issued a hurricane advisory warning for Ophelia, which is now located over the eastern Atlantic Ocean several hundred miles southwest of the Azores.

The weather will remain unsettled ahead of the storm's coming, with temperatures reaching 20C at times.

Hurricane Ophelia is meandering far out at sea in the eastern Atlantic, southwest of the Azores.

The milder weather will continue into Sunday, before a serious change on Monday when ex-Hurricane Ophelia hits the province.

While the hurricane may lose momentum over the weekend, Ophelia will likely bring at least strong winds and rain to Ireland next week.

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

"Maximum sustained winds are near 100 miles per hour (155 km/h) with higher gusts - a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale". On the forecast track, the center of Ophelia will pass near or to the southeast of the southeastern Azores Saturday and Saturday night.

The storm will have lost its tropical features by then, but that's an academic point, because the winds may still be as strong as a hurricane.

Experts at the U.S. Hurricane Centre confirmed gusts of 100mph are now emanating from the centre of the hurricane.

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