Hurricane Ophelia upgraded to Category 3: Will it be the strongest storm EVER to hit UK?

Saturday, October 14, 2017
By Paul Martin

HURRICANE Ophelia has been upgraded to an almost unprecedented Category 3 storm as it slowly makes its way towards the UK mainland.

Sat, Oct 14, 2017

Ophelia has become the sixth major hurricane of the 2017 season after it was upgraded to a Category 3 storm.

Storms of this strength are extremely rare and Ophelia’s current location is the farthest east a major Atlantic hurricane has ever been seen.

If the storm were to hit Britain at its current strength, it would be among the most powerful weather systems ever to hit the UK mainland.

While Ophelia is expected to slow down by the time it hits the UK, the Met Office has issued severe weather alerts and warned there could be potential power cuts, disruption to road and rail networks, and damage to buildings.

Meanwhile, the Irish Met Office has issued a red warning for counties in Munster and Connacht, predicting that coastal areas will be hit by winds in excess of 80mph (130km/h) from Monday morning.

It comes almost 30 years to the day after veteran weather presenter Michael Fish told viewers not to worry about an incoming storm, which later caused the deaths of 18 people in Britain and became known as the Great Storm of 1987.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), a Category 3 storm will cause “devastating damage” with winds of up to 129mph.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale says that in a Category 3 storm, “well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.”

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