Updated: 8:40 AM ET Oct 12
Ophelia is the 10th hurricane in a row to develop in the Atlantic Basin, something that has not happened in more than 100 years. Fortunately for U.S. interests, Ophelia is far from land and will not be of concern – unless you have friends or family in the British Isles.
Right now, the hurricane is over fairly warm water and as such is maintaining hurricane structure and intensity. Top winds are 85 mph and we could see that increase some today and tomorrow before the hurricane turns more to the northeast and over cooler waters.
As this turn happens, Ophelia will begin to lose its deep warm core structure and transition in to a larger, spread out storm system with heavy rain and near hurricane-force winds as it moves in to the mid-latitudes and towards the British Isles. This will be a high impact event for portions of the northwest coast of areas such as Ireland and the United Kingdom. It is rare to have something like this occur but not unprecedented.
I have prepared a video discussion for today with more details on Ophelia plus a look at the surprise near-La Nina event that we have in place right now; a far cry from the El Nino that many thought was coming for 2017.