Friday, September 30, 2011

Hurricane Ophelia intensifies in the Atlantic - 30th Sept 2011

Hurricane Ophelia strengthened early Friday, packing winds of 85 mph as it swirled across the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center said.

The system had appeared to be weakening several days ago, only to regroup and intensify.

As of late Thursday, Ophelia was about 735 miles south-southeast of Bermuda. It was heading north-northwest at nine miles an hour, the Miami-based center said.

Ophelia is a Category 1 hurricane and additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, according to the hurricane center. The extended forecast map shows Ophelia becoming a Category 2 hurricane with winds of at least 96 mph on Friday.

Hurricane-force winds extended about 30 miles from the storm's eye.

Tropical storm-force winds have been recorded 175 miles away, the center said.

Starting late Saturday, Ophelia could affect Bermuda in the mid-Atlantic, where a tropical storm watch is now in effect. But the hurricane, which is likely to gradually turn north and speed up Friday, is not expected to make a significant impact on the U.S. coast. Read More