Hurricane Ophelia's winds strengthen to 85 miles per hour on slow trek toward Ireland

Hurricane Ophelia path track map

A tropical storm called Ophelia, expected to become Hurricane Ophelia on Thursday, is headed upwards from the Atlantic and could hit the United Kingdom by early next week.

As of 5:00 a.m. ET, the storm has maximum sustained winds of near 85 mph, and some strengthening could happen over the next 48 hours.

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There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Analyses like Moses' take place after each hurricane season and can lead to previously unnamed storms to be added, according to The Weather Channel.

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Even as an ex-hurricane, both the American and European models suggest parts of Ireland, especially near the west coast, could be blasted by hurricane-like conditions on Monday. A slow northeast drift is expected tonight and tomorrow, followed by an acceleration toward the east-northeast or northeast.

The storm formed well outside what meteorologists refer as the "main development region", where most hurricanes form in the Atlantic. However, according to Mashable, there is no way of telling for sure if the record was repeated in the latter half of the twentieth century, due to the absence of substantial satellite measurements at the time. Only 15 known hurricanes have passed within 200 nautical miles of the Azores since 1851. All of those occurred in August or September, except for Hurricane Fran in October 1973 and Hurricane Alex in January 2016, which made landfall shortly after weakening to a tropical storm.

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This would tie the record for the most consecutive Atlantic named storms to reach hurricane strength. Nevertheless, it has the potential to set records for the strongest storm to form in its location.

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