Bloomberg News

Major Hurricane Ophelia May Graze Bermuda Tomorrow, NHC Says

September 30, 2011

(Updates speed and strength of storm in the first two paragraphs.)

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Ophelia, a Category 3 storm with winds of 120 miles (193 kilometers) per hour, kept moving north on a track that will take it to the east of Bermuda tomorrow.

Ophelia is 480 miles south-southeast of Bermuda and moving north at 16 mph. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Bermuda, where the outer edge of the system should arrive tomorrow, according to a National Hurricane Center advisory issued before 8 p.m. New York time.

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

It may also leave as much as 1 inch of rain on the island.

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, according to the advisory. After passing Bermuda, Ophelia may graze the southern coast of Newfoundland early next week as it moves into the North Atlantic, according to a hurricane center track.

“There is a strong likelihood that Ophelia has already reached its peak intensity and only small intensity fluctuations are anticipated during the next day,” according to a forecast analysis prepared by Lixion Avila, a senior hurricane specialist at the center.

Philippe’s Winds

Ophelia is one of 16 storms that have formed during this year’s season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. The Atlantic normally produces 11 named storms with winds of at least 39 mph, according to the hurricane center.

Farther to the east, Tropical Storm Philippe’s winds are 50 mph, according to the center. It is 1,100 miles east-northeast of the Leeward Islands, which include the U.S. Virgin Islands, and moving northwest at 13 mph. It presents no threat to land for at least the next five days under the forecast NHC path.

In the Pacific, storm Hilary has fallen apart and the hurricane center has stopped tracking it.

--With assistance from Alex Morales in London. Editors: Sylvia Wier, Jeran Wittenstein

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at

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

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