Hurricane Ophelia is headed toward Europe

Hurricane Ophelia is meandering far out at sea in the eastern Atlantic, southwest of the Azores.

A slow northeast drift is expected Wednesday night and Thursday, followed by an acceleration to the east / northeast.

The hurricane is now moving at three miles per hour in a northeastern direction, carrying 85 miles per hour wind speed and wind pressure of 986 mb.

Slight strengthening is possible over the next day or two, forecasters said. The last time a season produced 10 consecutive hurricanes was in 1893, according to Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach - a period when tracking hurricanes largely relied on ships and barometric readings.

Ophelia became a hurricane on Wednesday, becoming the 10th hurricane in the Atlantic in 2017.

Hurricane Ophelia is the latest weather system to whip up winds and rain in the Atlantic. All of those occurred in August or September, except for Hurricane Fran in October 1973 and Hurricane Alex in January 2016, which made landfall shortly after weakening to a tropical storm.

Hurricane Ophelia took shape outside of the "main development region", where most of the Atlantic hurricanes are known to form.

It's important to note that weather records are based on what we're able to record.

Nevertheless, Hurricane Ophelia is expected to bring an intense blast of winds to the Emerald Isle, and the western half of Ireland early next week.

Only two other named storms have tracked within 200 nautical miles of the northwestern tip of Spain in NOAA's historical record, dating to 1851.

  • Rogelio Becker