MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on tropical weather (all times local):
Forecasters say Hurricane Ophelia is strengthening over the eastern Atlantic Ocean.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Ophelia’s center is 745 miles (1,195 kilometers) southwest of the Azores late Wednesday. The Category 1 hurricane has max sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph). Forecasters say slight strengthening is possible over the next couple of days.
Ophelia is moving northeast at 3 mph (6 kph).
Forecasters say Ophelia has become the 10th hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic season, churning far out at sea and posing no immediate threat to land.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory Wednesday afternoon that Ophelia gained hurricane status as its top sustained winds reached 75 mph (120 kph). The core of Ophelia is located about 760 miles (1,220 kilometers) southwest of the Azores and the storm is moving east at 3 mph (6 kph).
There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.
University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy says Ophelia is the 10th straight tropical storm to become a hurricane in an Atlantic season. That has not happened since 1893, according to McNoldy. He says a combination of slightly warmer than normal water and weak upper level winds helped make that hurricane streak.
The hurricane center’s five-day forecast, which can change, has a weakened and changing to extratropical storm Ophelia heading toward the British Isles by Monday. That’s a bit of an unusual track for Atlantic storms.
Forecasters say Ophelia is beginning to look like a hurricane on satellite images but hasn’t quite reached hurricane status yet.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Ophelia now has top sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph). At 11 a.m. Wednesday, the core of the storm was located about 775 miles (1,245 kilometers) southwest of the Azores far out at sea.
The storm is currently moving to the east at 3 mph (6 kph), and no coastal watches or warnings are in effect.
The hurricane center says some strengthening is in the forecast and Ophelia is expected to become a hurricane any time Wednesday or Thursday. It is also expected to make a gradual turn to the northeast starting Thursday night.
Tropical Storm Ophelia is moving southeastward in the Atlantic and is expected to become a hurricane overnight or on Thursday.
The storm’s maximum sustained winds Wednesday morning are near 65 mph (100 kph).
As of 5 a.m. EDT, Ophelia, which isn’t currently a threat to any land, was centered about 785 miles (1,265 kilometers) southwest of the Azores and moving southeast near 6 mph (9 kph).