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Hurricane Ophelia 16L off Puerto Rico
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Hurricane Ophelia (16L) off Puerto Rico

October 5, 2011
Ophelia was strengthening into a hurricane when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on September 29, 2011. MODIS acquired this image at 10:40 a.m. Atlantic Standard Time (AST). Twenty minutes later, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that Ophelia had winds of 70 miles (110 kilometers) per hour, and was headed north-northwest.

At 11:00 a.m. AST on September 30, the NHC reported that Hurricane Ophelia had maximum sustained winds of 115 miles (185 kilometers) per hour, making it a Category Three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. At that time the storm was continuing to travel toward the north-northwest.

By 8:00 p.m. AST on October 2, Ophelia was weakening as it moved quickly north-northeastward towards the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland. At that time it was located 445 miles (715 kilometers) south-west of Cape Race, Newfoundland and had maximum sustained winds of near 90 miles (150 kilometers) per hour, making it a Category One hurricane. The NHC forecast steady weakening; however Ophelia is expected to be near hurricane strength when it passes near to the Avalon Peninsula. Once past southern Newfoundland, the storm is expected to quickly become a post-tropical cyclone and dissipate.

Credits: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC


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