The storm is the 10th hurricane that has developed in the Atlantic this season. "That's unusually warm for this time of year, and it could be these warm temperatures combining with Atlantic cold air that's causing this windstorm to be as strong as it is".
Ophelia may not threaten the US - but it could move near the Azores islands, and the National Hurricane Center on Thursday cautioned those in the islands to keep an eye on the storm. The intensity is somewhat uncertain, however, as there have been no aircraft investigations of the hurricane since it is well away from land over the open Atlantic, forcing forecasters to rely on remote sensing techniques to estimate wind strength. The last time a season produced 10 consecutive hurricanes was in 1893, according to Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach - a period when tracking hurricanes largely relied on ships and barometric readings.
Hurricane Ophelia is set to hit Ireland, making landfall by Monday.
The storm was almost stalled Wednesday evening, with sustained winds of 70 miles per hour.
The 2017 hurricane season was forecast to be the busiest we have seen since 2010.
Ophelia is forecast to drift northeast through today and to pass just south of the Azores into the weekend.
She then moves further northeast then north off the coast of Portugal and Spain.
This could bring high winds, blinding rain, and some storm surge to the western coast of Ireland, with wind and rain reaching portions of the United Kingdom into Tuesday.
While rare, it is not unprecedented to have post-tropical storms reach the British Isles.