Hurricane Ophelia strengthens as it heads for UK

Today's rainfall radar. Oh yeah  Source Met √Čireann

Hurricane Ophelia is making its way towards Ireland.

"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 storm is now producing incredibly strong winds, however the Met Office say when it hits the United Kingdom and Ireland we can expect gusts of between 55 and 65mph, possibly even reaching up to 80mph in some places. 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.

Ahead of this storm, temperatures will remain unusually warm for this time of year, with highs of 18 to 19 degrees Celcius forecast for today.

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




Ophelia is forecast to transition to an extratropical storm by Monday - but it could still be at hurricane strength as it moves very close to Ireland and Great Britain on Monday and Tuesday, the hurricane center said.

Met Office forecaster Alex Burkhill said: "Ophelia became a hurricane overnight and the forecast track takes it eastwards towards Iberia for the weekend".

The latest NOAA 5am update shows maximum sustained winds are near 85 miles per hour with the highest gusts.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm was located Thursday about 715 miles (1,145 kilometers) southwest of the Azores.

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

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