Bloomberg News

Ophelia Becomes Tropical Storm, May Grow Stronger This Week

September 28, 2011

(Updates Ophelia’s position in second paragraph.)

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Ophelia regained tropical storm status and is forecast to reach hurricane strength on a track that may take it east of Bermuda this weekend, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Ophelia’s winds are 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour, up from 35 mph earlier today, according to an advisory at 5 p.m. New York time. The system is about 180 miles east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, moving north-northwest at 7 mph.

“Gradual strengthening is expected during the next couple of days,” the center said.

The storm’s top winds are forecast to reach 75 mph in three days, which would make it a Category 1 hurricane on the five- step Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the center. Ophelia became a tropical storm in the Atlantic Sept. 20 and weakened to a remnant low over the weekend before regaining strength.

In addition to Ophelia, forecasters are monitoring Tropical Storm Philippe, which is about 1,040 miles west of Cape Verde with 40-mph winds. Once its winds drop below 39 mph, it will become a tropical depression.

In the Pacific, Hurricane Hilary may drop to tropical storm status overnight and dissipate by the end of the week, the center said. The storm is 640 miles west-southwest of Baja California with winds of 80 mph and is moving at 8 mph.

“Surf, swells generated by Hilary are affecting portions of the coast of southern Baja California,” the hurricane center said. “These swells are likely causing life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”

--With assistance from Yee Kai Pin in Singapore. Editors: Charlotte Porter, Bill Banker

To contact the reporters on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at; Alex Morales in London at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dan Stets at; Reed Landberg at

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