Four days after it earned a name as the 15th Atlantic Basin tropical storm of the season, Ophelia has become a threat to land – across the pond, that is.
At 11 a.m., Hurricane Ophelia, with peak winds of 100 mph, was about 550 miles southwest of the Iberian coast and moving northeast at 12 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
It said it likely would reach the vicinity of the Emerald Isle on Monday, with peak hurricane-force winds at 80 mph, although at that point it would be “post tropical.”
Met Eireann, the Irish weather service, said it was possible that Ophelia could make a direct hit on the island nation, making the most powerful storm to hit the Emerald Isle since 2011.
The hurricane center also said that tropical-storm force winds could affect parts of England.
Meanwhile, the center gives a cluster of showers and thunderstorms 350 miles east of the easternmost Caribbean islands 30 percent chance of becoming named storm No. 16 early next week.
So far, 10 named storms, those with winds of at least 39 mph, have become hurricanes this year.
Based on an index that takes into account durations and intensities, the 2017 tropical-storm season in the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Caribbean and the Gulf, has been among the most impressive on record, and the strongest since 2005.