Ophelia upgraded to Cat 1 hurricane

Tropical Storm Ophelia looked like a hurricane but wasn't one quite yet, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday morning.

Well off in the Atlantic Ocean, Ophelia poses no threat to the United States.

A slow northeast drift is expected Wednesday night and Thursday, followed by an acceleration to the east / northeast.

Its sustained wind speeds are 75 miles per hour with higher gusts. Four days later, Lee sprung back to life as a tropical cyclone and eventually strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane on September 27. "I thought that storm was dead and buried in the central Atlantic".

Some of Ophelia's rain bands are likely to hit the Azores islands over the weekend.

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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Ophelia became a hurricane on Wednesday, becoming the 10th hurricane in the Atlantic in 2017.

Hurricane Ophelia may make landfall in Ireland on Monday. In fact, Ophelia could set records for the strongest storm to form in its location so far outside the tropics.

According to NOAA's historical hurricane database, only 15 hurricanes have passed within 200 nautical miles of the Azores since 1851.

Previously, only two tropical cyclones have struck the coasts of Spain and Portugal in the past - a transitioning hurricane in October 1842 and Hurricane Vince, as a tropical depression, in October 2005.

Tropical Storm Ophelia is moving southeastward in the Atlantic and is expected to become a hurricane overnight or on Thursday.

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