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Tropical storm Ophelia no threat to U.S., forecasters say

Tropical Storm Ophelia poses no threat to the United States and might not make landfall at all, according to the National Hurricane Center.

If the storm stays on its projected path, Ophelia would pass the easternmost Caribbean islands and become the 15th named storm to bypass Florida completely this season, experts said.

Despite some overnight strengthening that produced wind speeds approaching hurricane status, forecasters said Ophelia will weaken in coming days.

The tropical storm continued moving west across the Atlantic on Thursday with winds at 65 mph — just below the 74 mph winds required for a Category 1 hurricane — at a forward speed of 14 mph.

"It's going to keep chugging along for a day or two," NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen said. "But it's probably strengthened just about as much as it can before it hits some real serious wind problems"

Ophelia was heading straight into hostile wind shear that experts said would slow the storm significantly and hamper growth in coming days.

The storm, located 1,020 miles east-southeast of Leeward Islands, could make a comeback by early next week, Feltgen said.

The NHC has not issued any coastal watches or warnings.

Tracking Ophelia

Weather Underground Inc. | Updates on this storm

Tropical storm Ophelia no threat to U.S., forecasters say 09/22/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 22, 2011 1:25pm]
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