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Tropical Storm Ophelia Strengthening On Southeastern Trek

12 October 2017

Forecasters expect Ophelia to continue to slowly move on a northeast track before accelerating toward Europe.

Right now, Ophelia is moving east at about 3 miles per hour and is expected to gradually turn northeast by Thursday night.

The storm formed well outside what meteorologists refer as the "main development region", where most hurricanes form in the Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center predicts the storm to maintain hurricane strength for the next few days and could even gain a little strength.

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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.

"Lee could easily be counted as two storms", tweeted Brenden Moses, a hurricane researcher at the National Hurricane Center in Coral Gables, Florida, specializing in the historical hurricane database.

Hurricane season runs through the end of November in the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea.

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Ireland regularly deals with the remnants of tropical systems, but Ophelia is going to approach the island as a stronger system than the usual remnant lows. On Wednesday afternoon, hurricane-force winds from Ophelia extended outward up to 25 miles from its center.

"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".

This could bring a blast of high winds to the Emerald Isle, particularly the western half of Ireland early next week.

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Tropical Storm Ophelia Strengthening On Southeastern Trek