Ophelia becomes 10th hurricane of 2017 season

Hurricane Ophelia path track map

Tropical Storm Ophelia is expected to strengthen to a hurricane as it spins far out over the Atlantic.

Located in the central Atlantic about 760 miles southwest of the Azores, the hurricane poses no threat to land and would probably be unremarkable if not for its place in the record books.

"I am not quite sure what to make of it", Dr Klotzbach told Bloomberg.

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. On average, there are 12 named storms per season in the Atlantic Basin. The severity of the impact on Ireland due to Hurricane Ophelia would depend on the exact track followed by the Category 1 storm in the next few days. All of those occurred in August or September, except for Hurricane Fran in October 1973 and Hurricane Alex in January 2016, which made landfall shortly after weakening to a tropical storm.

After Ophelia moves past Spain, forecasters say it could hit the Irish coast on Monday as an extra-tropical storm, potentially still with close to hurricane-strength winds. Only 15 known hurricanes have passed within 200 nautical miles of the Azores since 1851.

Nevertheless, Hurricane Ophelia is expected to bring an intense blast of winds to the Emerald Isle, and the western half of Ireland early next week.

A spokeswoman for the Met Office has said: "Having been a tropical system close to the point that it reaches the United Kingdom, the storm will have a lot of energy and there could be wet and windy weather on Monday".

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