BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday September 22, 2011 – As Tropical Storm Ophelia approaches the Leeward Islands forecasters at the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) are reporting that some weakening may occur during the next 48 hours.
At 5 p.m. AST Tropical Storm Opehlia was located near 13.8 north 48.9 west or about 890 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands the hurricane centre said.
The latest NHC advisory reported that maximum sustained winds are near 65 miles per hour and tropical storm force winds extend 230 miles mainly to the north of the system.
Ophelia is moving west near 13 miles per hour however a turn to the west-northwest is expected on Friday followed by a turn to the northwest on Saturday the NHC advisory indicated.
The estimated minimum central pressure remains at 994 mb.
The 2011 hurricane season has been forecasted to have a well above average probability of United States and Caribbean major hurricane landfall according to Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray of the Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University. The season is expected to see about 9 hurricanes, 17 named storms and 5 major hurricanes. Track the latest on Ophelia in the Storm Centre.