Ophelia becomes remarkable 10th hurricane of season

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Right now, Ophelia is moving east at about 3 miles per hour and is expected to gradually turn northeast by Thursday night.

Tropical Storm Ophelia is becoming better organized far out in the eastern Atlantic and is expected to become a hurricane later this week.

Some of Ophelia's rain bands are likely to hit the Azores islands over the weekend.

Hurricane Ophelia, which formed this afternoon, is the 10th consecutive hurricane this season, putting 2017 in a unique club that includes just three previous years that have spawned ten hurricanes in a row.

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Wind shear - which could disrupt the storm's development - is light, and it is passing over sea surface temperatures much warmer than normal, which should help it sustain hurricane strength through at least Friday.

Tropical Storm Ophelia looked like a hurricane but wasn't one quite yet, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday morning. Its sustained wind speeds are now 70 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Earlier forecasts had suggested Ophelia could approach Spain and Portugal's Iberian Peninsula as a tropical system, which would have been unprecedented.

Ophalia is presently the only storm the NHC is tracking in the Atlantic or Pacific. The storm may still be capable of producing powerful winds, on the order of 60 to 80 miles per hour, when it makes its closest approach to Ireland and the United Kingdom, which it's forecast to do on Monday.

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