Hurricane Ophelia strengthens as it heads for UK

Hurricane Ophelia strengthens as it heads for UK

Hurricane Ophelia moved eastward over the mid-Atlantic Friday as a category two storm packing winds gusting at up to 105 miles (165 kilometres) per hour en route for the Azores.

On Thursday afternoon, Ophelia's core was located about 715 miles southwest of the Azores, where it was virtually stationary. Now there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

"A combination of a vigorous Atlantic weather system and the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia will pass close to Ireland on Monday, and has the potential to be a high-impact event in parts of the country", stated Met Eireann.

A weather warning has been issued for Cornwall as Hurricane Ophelia sweeps the Atlantic. However, as CNN reports, Ophelia is much farther north than the average hurricane, meaning it's not subject to tropical east-to-west-moving winds, and can instead drift north and east.

Ophelia had first been classified as a tropical storm, then a hurricane as it made its way across the Atlantic Ocean, and will be downgraded to a storm by the time it reaches the UK.

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Although the cooler waters around Ireland and the United Kingdom mean the storm won't have the same power that some of the season's earlier storms gained in the Caribbean, the unusual trajectory could lead to one of the worst storms Ireland has seen in many years.

No coastal watches or warnings are in effect, though forecasters say residents of the eastern Azores should keep an eye on the storm.

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

Ophelia is forecast to continue on a northeast to east path for the next few days. The hurricane does not now pose a threat to any land.

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