Tropical Storm Ophelia close to hurricane status

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Ophelia is now located across the north-central Atlantic Ocean, roughly 2400 miles from the Grand Strand.

As of the 5 p.m. forecast, Ophelia was 760 miles southwest of the Azores with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

This season has already been above average in all three categories, named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes.

Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Ophelia is expected to become a hurricane by Thursday, Oct. 12 and is expected to turn toward the northwest.

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Tropical Storm Ophelia is on the verge of becoming a hurricane in the northeastern Atlantic. It was moving east at 3 miles per hour.

Ophelia, located almost 800 miles southwest of the Azores, has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and was moving southeast at 6 mph, the hurricane center said. "However, despite the much improved satellite appearance, it appears that the increased convective organization has not yet translated into an increase in the surface winds based on a 1204Z ASCAT-B overpass, which only showed winds of 30-31 knots in the southern quadrant".

With the organization of Tropical Storm Ophelia, there have now been 15 named storms this season.

Subtropical cyclone: A low-pressure system that has both tropical and non-tropical characteristics, but is generally cold-core and derives energy from temperature gradients instead of warm ocean waters. Strongest winds are far from the center and higher in the atmosphere.

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