Updated: 10/16/2017 4:15:54 PM
Two people have died in Ireland in accidents relating to Storm Ophelia as 100mph winds started to batter the British Isles.
As Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar described the impact of Ophelia as a “national emergency”, the country’s schools and colleges were closed and the transport system was virtually at a standstill. Varadkar, appealing to people to remain indoors for their own safety, said it was the worst storm to hit Ireland in 50 years.
Updated: 10/16/2017 4:13:49 PM
The Irish Republic’s Electricity Supply Board has said that 360,000 customers are now without power due to Storm Ophelia.
Updated: 10/16/2017 4:12:58 PM
A person in Dundalk, near the border with Northern Ireland, has died after a tree fell on their car, taking the death toll in Ireland as a result of the storm to three, Dublin-based station 98FM and others are reporting.
Updated: 10/15/2017 10:00:15 PM
Hurricane Ophelia has been downgraded to a category one hurricane by the US National Hurricane Center and is forecast to continue gradually weakening.
The weather system is expected to bring severe winds and stormy conditions to parts of Ireland and the UK, with winds of up to 113km/h.
Met Éireann released the following statement at 8pm on Sunday night: “Ex-Hurricane Ophelia is forecast to track directly over Ireland during daytime Monday. Violent and destructive gusts are forecast with all areas at risk and in particular the southwest and south in the morning, and eastern counties in the afternoon. Also heavy rain and storm surges along some coasts will result in flooding. There is potential risk to lives.”
Updated: 10/15/2017 11:06:21 AM
The National Hurricane Centre, which monitors all Atlantic storms, said: "Preparations to protect lives and property should be rushed to completion this afternoon."
The mammoth storm currently has hurricane-force winds stretching 73 kilometers outward from the centre of the stor and tropical storm-force winds extending outward of 240 kilometers.
Updated: 10/14/2017 11:08:37 PM
Ophelia has just become the sixth major hurricane of the 2017 season after it was upgraded to a Category 3 storm.
Storms of this strength are extremely rare and Ophelia's current location is the farthest east a major Atlantic hurricane has ever been seen.
The Portugal mainland will not be directly affected by Ophelia, but the category 3 hurricane is moving towards the southwest of Azores and is expected ot hit the area on Sunday.
A terrifying satellite image released by NASA shows a satellite view of hurricane Ophelia south of the Azores islands.
The storm is set to hit the Britain on ‘Mayhem Monday’ - with 14 meter waves and 130 kph gusts on the 30th anniversary of 1987’s Great Storm.
Updated: 10/13/2017 4:01:38 PM
The storm has picked up strength and become a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 160 kph and gusts of up to 210 kph.
Ophelia’s projected path takes it in the direction of Spain and Portugal on the Iberian Peninsula, although current forecasts suggest the storm will gradually turn to the north and remain well offshore of the region.
The NOAA National Hurricane Center (NHC) has in the past hours released an advisory, warning UK citizens to be on heightened alert.
Updated: 10/13/2017 8:49:53 AM
Hurricane Ophelia strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane and continued tracking northeastward on Thursday afternoon.
Ophelia's winds rose to 100 mph, making it a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. It could weaken some but is expected to remain a hurricane for the next day or two, the hurricane center said.
Updated: 10/12/2017 9:16:22 AM
Ophelia become hurricane and is forecast to drift slowly east for the next day or so before stronger upper-level winds arrive later this week and accelerate it toward the east-northeast just south of the Azores.
At a minimum, some outer rain bands and gusty winds could impact eastern portions of the Portuguese archipelago this weekend.
Updated: 10/11/2017 10:01:18 AM
Tropical Storm Ophelia is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane by Thursday (Oct. 12) as the storm continues moving southeastward, in the general direction of Spain and Portugal, according to a Tuesday night update from the National Hurricane Center.
Updated: 10/10/2017 10:24:43 PM
Tropical Storm Ophelia is forecast to become a hurricane by Wednesday as it heads towards Africa.
However its remote location far out in the Atlantic mean that is likely to be a “fish storm” – one that spends its entire lifespan as a named system over water.
Ophelia is located about 790 miles west-southwest of the Azores.
It has maximum sustained winds of 50mph and will approach category 1 hurricane strength by Wednesday.
Although the intensity of Ophelia's deep convection has decreased during the past several hours, the cloud pattern has improved and become more symmetric with banding features now better established around the centre.
The hurricane is not currently expect to have any effects on land, and there are no watches or warnings in place.
Published Monday, October 9, 2017
Tropical storm formed in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday, the 15th named storm of what has been an active and destructive hurricane season.
So far, though, Tropical Storm Ophelia doesn't appear to pose the same threat to battered islands and coastlines as posed by Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria.
The new storm formed in the open Atlantic from Tropical Depression Seventeen, the National Hurricane Center said in its 11 a.m. advisory. The tropical storm was carrying 40 mph winds and was located about 860 miles west-southwest of the Azores Islands.
Hurricane Ophelia Facts
Affected Area: 400 km.
Alert Level: Orange