Hurricane Ophelia is churning in the Atlantic Ocean and could target the United Kingdom and Ireland in the next few days.
The storm is packing 100-mph winds and is heading northeast at 12 miles an hour, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters said they expect the hurricane to pick up speed as it heads towards Europe. The storm is expected to make landfall sometime Sunday night.
Weathers forecasters in Ireland said they are closely monitoring Hurricane Ophelia, which is the 15th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.
“At this stage, there is strong evidence from the weather forecast models that its remnants will track close to or even over parts of Ireland, but at present, there are still a wide spread of possible outcomes,” according to Met Eireann. “Our forecasters are treating the situation with caution and are in contact with our international colleagues, but given the lead time and the inherent uncertainties that come with the modelling of a tropical system it won’t be possible to quantify the exact timing, nor the strength or intensity of the wind and rain, in any great detail until later in the weekend.”
The Met Office, Britain’s official weather service, said in a statement on Friday that Hurricane Ophelia shouldn’t be much of a threat to the United Kingdom by the time it arrives.
“Understandably, there is a lot of public concern about the potential impacts of ex-Ophilia. In readiness, we have already issued Yellow wind warnings for Northern Ireland and parts of western and northern Britain for Monday and Tuesday, suggesting wind gusts possibly reaching up to 80 mph in places,” Met Office chief forecaster Steve Ramsdale said. “Although parts of the UK may experience severe conditions, it’s important to realise that not all areas will be affected by this ex-hurricane. For example, much of eastern England will be unusually warm for the time of year but quite breezy on Monday and Tuesday.”
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is one of the top 10 busiest of all time, according to The Weather Channel.
Here is a list of all the named storms so far this year, according to the National Hurricane Center:
The next storm that forms in the Atlantic Ocean will be named Philippe.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The peak of the season is typically on Sept. 10, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.