ex-Hurricane Ophelia batters Ireland

ex-Hurricane Ophelia batters Ireland

Ophelia, the 15th named storm of 2017 and the 10th consecutive Atlantic hurricane, devastates on the 30th anniversary of the Great Storm of 1987

By Daria Blackwell - 16/10/2017

Hurricane Ophelia lost tropical storm status as it came ashore in Cork, but retained hurricane force winds. It has caused three known deaths and cut power to 260,000 homes and businesses.

Ophelia became a 'rare' Category 3 storm south of the Azores, which it skirted on its path towards Ireland. About 220 miles south of the Azores on October 14, Hurricane Ophelia strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane, the farthest east that a major hurricane has ever been in the Atlantic. The previous record was held by Frances in 1980. Only 15 hurricanes have passed within 200 nautical miles of the Azores since monitoring began in 1851. It was downgraded to a category 1 storm from category 3 on the 15th of October, weakening throughout the day before coming ashore in Ireland on the morning of the 16th.

The hurricane was unusual in that it developed so far east to begin with. It was also previously unheard of for a hurricane take a south-to-north track directly across Ireland. Fortunately, sufficient warning and accurate forecasting encouraged storm preparedness.

2017 has shaped up as an unusually active hurricane season, and it is not yet over. Officially, hurricane season continues through November 30.


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