TME:Today's featured article/November 11
Hurricane Ophelia (known as Storm Ophelia in Ireland and the United Kingdom while extratropical) was the easternmost Atlantic major hurricane on record. The tenth consecutive hurricane and the sixth major hurricane of the very active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Ophelia had non-tropical origins from a decaying cold front on 6 October. Located within a favorable environment, the storm steadily strengthened over the next two days, drifting north and then southeastwards before becoming a hurricane on 11 October. After becoming a Category 2 hurricane and fluctuating in intensity for a day, Ophelia intensified into a major hurricane on 14 October south of the Azores, brushing the archipelago with high winds and heavy rainfall. Shortly after achieving peak intensity, Ophelia began weakening as it accelerated over progressively colder waters to its northeast towards Ireland and Great Britain. Completing an extratropical transition early on 16 October, Ophelia became the second storm of the 2017–18 UK and Ireland windstorm season. Early on 17 October, the cyclone crossed the North Sea and struck western Norway, with wind gusts up to 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph) in Rogaland county, before weakening during the evening. The system made additional landfalls in Sweden and Finland before dissipating over Russia.
Three deaths can be direcly attributed to Ophelia, all of which occurred in Ireland. The total losses from the storm are estimated at €1 billion (US$1.18 billion), mostly from economic losses; insured damage claims as of 24 October reached €6 million (US$7 million) in Ireland and £5–10 million (US$6.6–13.2 million) in the United Kingdom. (Full article...)