Here’s what you need to know. Tropical Storm Ophelia currently has sustained winds of 70mph, just 4mph below the category 1 hurricane threshold and with further strengthening likely over the next 24-48 hours, is likely to become a category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 74mph as it heads toward the Azores islands in the Atlantic over the weekend. The storm then heads alarmingly close to the British Isles and Ireland through Sunday and into Monday, bringing western areas potentially storm force winds with gusts perhaps up to 80mph across Irish Sea Coastal areas.
Further east conditions might not be quite as bad, however it’s important to remember that storms are volatile creatures and the exact track that Ophelia will take is still “up in arms”. The above image with credit to the National Hurricane Center website shows hurricane Ophelia approaching the British Isles and Ireland on Monday (by this stage weakened to an “S” – tropical storm), however still packing a punch with western areas, particularly Ireland and Irish Sea Coasts, potentially seeing a storm surge during Monday and Tuesday. There is still significant uncertainty regarding Ophelia’s exact track. A shift eastwards or westwards could make all the difference however.