Ophelia upgraded to Cat 1 hurricane

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Ophelia's center is 745 miles (1,195 kilometers) southwest of the Azores late Wednesday.

The storm was almost stalled Wednesday evening, with sustained winds of 70 miles per hour.

This would tie the record for the most consecutive Atlantic named storms reaching hurricane strength, which also happened in three other years: 1878, 1886 and 1893, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, Colorado State University tropical meteorologist. That's a bit of an unusual track for Atlantic storms. Before satellites, it was hard to keep accurate records of Atlantic hurricanes.

But the record deserves an asterisk because Lee could have counted as two storms, according to Brenden Moses, a researcher working on the National Hurricane Center databases. Hurricane Season does not officially end until November 30th.

Ophelia is the 10th hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic season. Four days later, Lee sprung back to life as a tropical cyclone and eventually strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane on September 27.

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A slow northeast drift is expected Wednesday night and Thursday, followed by an acceleration to the east / northeast. Its rainbands could hit the southern part of the Azores islands by the weekend and possibly reach Spain and Portugal on the Iberian Peninsula.

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.

Ophelia was no threat to the US but could move near the Azores by the weekend.

Hurricane Ophelia may make landfall in Ireland on Monday.

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