Hurricane Ophelia slowly heads toward Ireland, Azores

Source Shutterstock  Rainer Fuhrmann

Source Shutterstock Rainer Fuhrmann

The likelihood that Hurricane Ophelia will affect Portugal's mid-Atlantic Azores Islands has risen to 60 percent, the Azores Meteorological Forecasts and Monitoring Center announced on Thursday.

While Ophelia is now a risky storm, by the time it lands, the high winds should have subsided.

Ophelia is the 10th consecutive Atlantic tropical storm to strengthen into a hurricane this year.

Ahead of the heavy wind and rain Hurricane Ophelia will bring with it, temperatures are set to reach 20 degrees over the weekend.

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It will coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Great Storm of 1987, which hit southern England overnight on October 15, caused £1 billion worth of damage and left 18 people dead.

While the impact is not expected to be as severe as the Great Storm of 1987, Ophelia will be similar to Tropical Storm Grace, which hit the United Kingdom in 2009, and ex-hurricane Gordon, which struck in 2006, according to forecasters.

The west coast of Ireland and Scotland are expected to suffer most with strong winds. The element set a record for the most successive storms that have reached the height of a hurricane, a meteorologist at Colorado State University said.

Met Office forecaster, Emma Sharples told The Sun: "There's going to be a spell of quite warm weather off the back of it from Friday through to Monday, particularly in the south [of the UK]".

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