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Ophelia has become the 10th hurricane of the 2017 season as it continued to strengthen over the eastern Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday posing no threat to land, the National Hurricane Center said in an update today.
The NHC upgraded Ophelia to a category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph as of its 5 p.m. ET update. Ophelia is centered over the far eastern Atlantic Ocean about 760 miles southwest of the Azores and moving toward the east near 3 mph, according to the NHC. “A slow northeast drift is expected tonight and tomorrow, followed by an acceleration toward the east-northeast or northeast,” the update said.
Ophelia is now the tenth hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, five of which grew into major hurricanes (category 3 or greater). In total, there have now been 15 named storms.
In May, NOAA predicted an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, with 11 to 17 named storms, 5 to 9 hurricanes and 2 to 4 major hurricanes.
In August, however, NOAA predicted a higher likelihood of an above-normal season, and they increased the predicted number of named storms and major hurricanes. The upgraded outlook calls for 14 to 19 named storms, 5 to 9 hurricanes, and 2 to 5 major hurricanes.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30.
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