Hurricane Ophelia could slam into Europe early next week

Tropical storm Ophelia path map from NOAA

Ophelia becomes the 10th consecutive Atlantic named storm to attain hurricane strength, Klotzbach tweeted, tying the record set in 1878 hurricane season and matched in 1886 and 1893.

The National Hurricane Center predicts the storm to maintain hurricane strength for the next few days and could even gain a little strength. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (85 kph) and is moving southeast at about 5 miles per hour (7 kph). Ophelia is now tracking towards Portugal, and will likely pass to the west of the country. It's still early, though, and the exact path could change.

An 18Z Tuesday run of the GFS model shows the storm hitting the south west coast at around midnight on Tuesday October 17.

Tropical Storm Ophelia is becoming better organized far out in the eastern Atlantic and is expected to become a hurricane later this week.

Forecasters say Ophelia is expected to become a hurricane by Thursday.

As of 10 a.m. CDT Wednesday, Tropical Storm Ophelia was located about 775 miles southwest of the Azores and was moving east at 3 mph.

"After that time, Ophelia is forecast to turn eastward, then northeastward and begin to accelerate by day three ahead of a deepening mid-latitude trough over the north-central Atlantic". This means the storm isn't moving from east to west, like most Atlantic hurricanes.

The NOAA has not forecast Ophelia to make landfall.

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