TS Ophelia likely to become a hurricane later Thursday: NHC

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 29, 2011 11:03 AM
TS Ophelia likely to become a hurricane later Thursday: NHC

(Reuters) - Tropical Storm Ophelia is expected to gain more strength and become a hurricane packing winds of 75 miles per hour in the next 12 hours, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Thursday.

At 10:50 a.m. EDT (1450 GMT), Ophelia was located about 205 miles north-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, and was packing maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour (110 km per hour).

"The upper-level environment is forecast to remain unfavorable but not hostile enough to prevent Ophelia from becoming a hurricane by the end of the day," the NHC said.

Tropical cyclones become named tropical storms when their winds exceed 39 miles per hour and become hurricanes when their winds reach more than 74 mph.

(Reporting by Soma Das in Bangalore)