Tropical Storm Ophelia reemerged in the Atlantic yesterday and is quickly gaining strength as it churns north on a path toward Bermuda and on to Newfoundland.
By midday Thursday, Ophelia was nearly at hurricane strength with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. The storm is projected to become a hurricane late Thursday or early Friday.
According to the 11 am EDT alert from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Ophelia is located 205 miles north-northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles from the storm center, mainly to the northeast.
The storm is moving north-northwest at 9 mph and is expected to make a turn due north later on Thursday. On its projected path, Ophelia should head slightly to the right of Bermuda on its way north toward Newfoundland.
Two weeks ago, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Newfoundland as a Category 1 storm. The Canadian island was also hit by another rare hurricane in 2010. Hurricane Igor tore through eastern Newfoundland washing out roads, sweeping away bridges and causing nearly $200 million in damages to over 200 communities.
At this time, no coastal watches or warnings are in effect for Tropical Storm Ophelia.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Philippe turned northwestward over the Central Atlantic on Thursday.
According to the 11 am EDT alert from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Philippe is located 1240 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands moving northwest at 13 mph. The storm packs maximum sustained winds of 45 mph with higher gusts, but little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Philippe is expected to turn west-northwest Friday night and fizzle out by Tuesday morning over the Central Atlantic.
Michael Brennan, Senior Hurricane Specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, predicts that these two storms in the Atlantic will be some of the last spawned by waves off the African Coast this season.
In October, the focus shifts into the Caribbean and the Gulf, he explains. We are certainly not out of the woods yet.
With two months left and 16 named storms so far, the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season is proving to be the atypically busy year that forecasters had anticipated.