Bloomberg News

Hurricane Ophelia Strengthens on Course East of Bermuda

September 30, 2011

(Updates Ophelia’s position in third paragraph.)

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Hurricane Ophelia continued to strengthen over the Atlantic on a track that’s predicted to take the storm east of Bermuda tomorrow before hitting Newfoundland on Oct. 3, the National Hurricane Center said.

Ophelia, a Category 2 storm on the 5-step Saffir-Simpson scale, has winds of 105 miles (169 kilometers) per hour, according to a hurricane center advisory.

The system was 665 miles south of Bermuda, which is under a tropical storm watch, and moving north-northwest at 9 mph, according to the advisory. Hurricane-force winds of at least 74 mph stretch 30 miles from Ophelia’s eye, and tropical storm- force winds of at least 39 mph extend 175 miles outwards, according to the advisory.

“Tropical-storm-force winds are possible on Bermuda starting Saturday afternoon,” according to the center. “Large swells created by Ophelia will cause hazardous surf conditions along the south shore beaches of Bermuda.”

On the forecast path, Ophelia may strike eastern Newfoundland on Oct. 3, then head eastward into the North Atlantic, according to the center.

Ophelia is one of 16 storms that have formed in the Atlantic this year, an above-average season statistically. The Atlantic season, which lasts from June through November, normally produces 11 named storms with winds of at least 39 mph, according to the hurricane center.

It is also the fourth storm to grow to hurricane strength in the Atlantic this year.

Tropical Storm Philippe, in the mid-Atlantic east of Ophelia, has 45 mph winds and is moving northwest at 13 mph, the center said. It presents no threat to land for at least the next five days under the forecast NHC path.

In the Pacific, Tropical Depression Hilary may become a remnant low later. It was about 735 miles west of the southern tip of Baja California off Mexico with winds of 35 mph, according to the center.

--Editors: Dan Stets, Bill Banker

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net; Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net; Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net.


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