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Hurricane Ophelia - track live: Latest images show where the tropical storm is set to hit

Britain set to lashed by rain and winds up to 70mph

Tom Embury-Dennis,Will Worley
Friday 13 October 2017 11:17
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The hurricane is expected to hit the west of the UK
The hurricane is expected to hit the west of the UK

Britain is set to be lashed by rain and winds of up to 70mph as the tail end of Hurricane Ophelia barrels east across the Atlantic, forecasters are warning.

The tropical storm has been upgraded to a hurricane and the US National Hurricane Centre has said it could get stronger over the coming days.

The west of the country can expect to see the worst of any disruption, with gale-force winds expected to hit by Sunday or early next week.

It comes on the 30th anniversary of the Great Storm of 1987, which left 18 people dead and caused £1bn worth of damage. Weather forecaster Michael Fish infamously told viewers ahead of the storm not to worry.

You can watch Hurricane Ophelia’s progression below.

Follow the latest updates on our Hurricane Ophelia blog.

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Good morning,

This is Will -- I'll be manning the Independent's live blog on Hurricanr Ophelia. Do stay with us for all the latest updates. 

Kristin Hugo13 October 2017 11:32
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Hurricane Ophelia is now a category 2 storm, the National Hurricane Centre has announced.

Kristin Hugo13 October 2017 11:37
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This, from the Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork, shows the category 2 Hurricane Ophelia and its recent position in the Atlantic. 

Kristin Hugo13 October 2017 13:39
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This image from the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) shows the position of Ophelia in the Atlantic. The NHC has categorised it as a Category 2 storm, but it is expected to have weakened by the time it reaches Ireland. 

Kristin Hugo13 October 2017 13:42
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Hurricane Ophelia is lingering in its position, which is partly why it is expected to take so long to reach Ireland and the UK. It is currently blowing winds of up to 105mph, according to the National Hurricane Centre.

It is not expected to reach the British Isles until Monday afternoon. The route is said to be rather unusual for Atlantic storms.  

Kristin Hugo13 October 2017 13:53
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Hurricane Ophelia is pretty weak by comparison to recent storms which have ravaged the US and Caribbean. 

A reminder of their strength, in chronological order:

Hurricane Harvey

Category 4

Top wind speed: 130mph

Deaths: 77

Damages: $70bn (£52.5bn)

Hurricane Irma

Category 5

Top wind speed: 183mph

Deaths: 134

Damages: $62bn (£46.5bn)

Hurricane Jose

Category 1

Top wind speed: 155mph

Deaths: 1

Damages: unknown

Kristin Hugo13 October 2017 14:03
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Kristin Hugo13 October 2017 14:08
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There’s lots of chatter from meteorologists online about how unusual this storm is. Irish and British residents will appreciate this – neither country usually get anything close to really severe weather.

Some key points highlighted by weather writer Dennis Mersereau at Flipboard:

  • Hurricanes don’t usually form so far out to sea – “Ophelia formed where hurricanes usually go to die,” he says.
  • They don’t usually head towards Western Europe, let alone Ireland and Britain.
  • Hurricanes have been unusually frequent and severe this season.

Mersereau also points out that just because a storm has shed its ‘hurricane’ status, they can still be dangerous.

He says: “The storm will have all the force and effect of a hurricane without the title or the name. Power outages, downed trees, and flooding are possible across Ireland and parts of the United Kingdom.”

Kristin Hugo13 October 2017 14:27
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The Met Office says the storm could bring:

  • Transport disruption
  • Power cuts
  • Building damage
  • Large waves 
Kristin Hugo13 October 2017 14:29
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Kristin Hugo13 October 2017 14:30

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