OPHELIA NOW TAKING AIM ON IRELAND – EXPECTED TO BECOME A POWERFUL POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE BY TONIGHT

Hurricane Ophelia is centered this morning about 475 miles (765 km) east of the Azores and about 965 miles (1550 km) south-southwest of Mizen Head, Ireland. Ophelia is moving toward the northeast near 35 mph (56 km/h). On the forecast track, the center of Ophelia will approach Ireland on Monday.

Residents in Ireland should refer to products issued by Met Eireann, https://www.met.ie/ and residents in the United Kingdom should refer to products issued by the Met Office – https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 105 mph (165 km/h) with higher gusts – category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some additional weakening is expected today and on Monday, but Ophelia is forecast to become a powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds as it approaches Ireland on Monday.

Gale-force winds are expected to begin across southern Ireland by early Monday morning and gradually spread northward across the country during the day. Hurricane-force winds are expected to reach the southern portions of Ireland by Monday afternoon and spread inland across the country into Monday night. Preparations to protect lives and property should be rushed to completion by this afternoon. Wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains are often up to 30 percent stronger than the near-surface winds indicated in this advisory, and in some elevated locations could be even greater.

Ophelia is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 2 to 3 inches (50 mm to 75 mm) with isolated totals near 4 inches (100 mm) through Tuesday across western Ireland and Scotland. Across eastern Ireland, rainfall amounts will average around 1 inch (25 mm) or less.

A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the east of where the center makes landfall. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.