Hurricane Ophelia is on course to hit Britain, Ireland, and parts of continental Europe with tropical-storm-force winds and rain on Monday.
Ireland and Great Britain could experience winds with speeds between 50 and 80 mph, according to the map above, which was issued by the US National Hurricane Center at 2 a.m. Friday AST (7 a.m. Friday BST).
Here is the latest map from the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, showing potential hurricane-force winds hitting the southwest of Ireland on Monday morning.
Ireland and Scotland are likely to be worse hit than the rest of the region. The outer reaches of Ophelia could touch northern France and northern Spain, prompting winds between 5 and 20 mph in the coming days.
The storm is expected to pass through the countries between 1 a.m. Monday and 1 a.m. Tuesday BST (8 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Monday AST).
Ophelia officially gained hurricane status on Wednesday morning and intensified into a Category 2 hurricane on Thursday. By the time it reaches Ireland on Monday, it will have become an “ex-hurricane,” the BBC reported.
The UK Met Office has issued a warning of “a spell of very windy weather” on Monday and Tuesday, with potential power cuts and damage to buildings.
— Met Office (@metoffice) October 12, 2017
Ophelia’s expected Monday arrival will coincide with the 30th anniversary of the “Great Storm” of 1987, where an extratropical cyclone with winds over 100 mph claimed 22 lives across Britain and France. Fifteen million trees were torn down and hundreds of thousands of homes lost power, the newspaper added.
In a now-infamous broadcast on October 15, 1987, BBC weather forecaster Michael Fish dismissed reports that a hurricane was on the way. The Met Office called the storm a “wake-up call” in a Wednesday blog post.
- David Wright/geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia Commons
Ophelia is the 10th consecutive storm to reach hurricane strength in the Atlantic this season. This record was last set in 1893.
As of Thursday evening, it was moving slowly across the Atlantic near the Azores, an autonomous archipelago under Portugese control, according to the Met Office.