Hurricane Ophelia, currently a category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 105 mph, gusting higher, will eventually become a powerful post tropical cyclone later on today.
By post tropical we mean that Ophelia will lose its tropical characteristics, thus, will no longer be a hurricane. The waters around the UK would need to be around 27 degrees to sustain a hurricane. Instead the storm will become an extra-tropical storm which will be capable of producing hurricane strength winds gusts, along with torrential rainfall.
The moisture in this system is very clear on our moisture charts. Note the red cylindrical shape just off the coast of Portugal, this is Ophelia. Also of note is the track Ophelia will take, this will help pull in some very warm and humid air shown by the deep orange colours, thus, this will also act as fuel to this storm which is perhaps why she will remain a very potent storm despite losing hurricane status.
Now our current data takes Ophelia along the west coast of Ireland, this track not yet nailed however various model have a very similar path. It wouldn’t take much for the system change path slightly and thus more of the UK become affected.
As things stand the worst of the winds can be expected across Ireland with the model suggesting gusts in excess of 80 mph possibly close to 90 mph in the most exposed areas. For our region itself we may see Irish Sea coasts affected by strong gusts around 50 – 60 mph but that’s nothing unusual for the time of year. The main concern for now is Ireland.
Once more data is run later today we’ll update again in particular if we notice any subtle path changes.