Ophelia 2nd strongest eastern Atlantic hurricane

Ten consecutive hurricanes first in more than a century

By Mark Collins - Meteorologist
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Ophelia's intensity came just 6 mph from surpassing 2012's Hurricane Gordon for the strongest hurricane so far east in the Atlantic.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Hurricane Ophelia is the strongest hurricane so far east in the Atlantic since 2012 when Hurricane Gordon swept a similar path toward Europe. 

This marks a flurry of activity in which ten Atlantic storms in a row reached hurricane strength. So rare, it's the first in more than a century, and only the fourth on record  since the 1800's.

Ophelia thrived over abnormally warm water and peaked with winds of 105 mph just shy of Hurricane Gordon's record of 110. But Ophelia could stay stronger longer and hit Ireland with post-tropical hurricane force winds.

The run on back-to-back hurricane's Franklin. Gert. Harvey. Irma. Jose. Katia. Lee. Maria. Nate. Ophelia puts a new entry in the history books for the most consecutive hurricanes since 1893.

Yet with 43 days left in the season there is potential for another hurricane and a streak of eleven has never happened.

Through October 12, there have been 49 hurricane days compared to an average of 21 in a typical season. The combination of warm waters and ideal atmospheric conditions fostered the destructive hurricane season.

Harvey, Irma, and Maria displayed classic eyes and symmetrical shapes showcasing the lack of wind shear. Very low shear this season has prevented storms from getting torn apart.

Unfortunately the steering currents favored pushing storms over land rather than tracking them out to sea. This is often the case when the Bermuda Ridge shifts north like we have seen this season. 

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