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The Latest: Ophelia strengthens to a Category 2 hurricane

MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on tropical weather (all times local): 4:45 p.m. Hurricane Ophelia has strengthened to a Category 2 storm, swirling far from land in the eastern Atlantic. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Ophelia is barely moving and is continuing to strengthening, now boasting top sustained winds of 100 mph (kph).

On Thursday afternoon, Ophelia's core was located about 715 miles (1,150 kilometers) southwest of the Azores, where it was virtually stationary. The Miami-based hurricane center says Ophelia should lose a little strength in the next 48 hours but is expected to remain a hurricane for the next couple of days.

The hurricane center's five-day forecast, which can change, has Ophelia heading close to the British Isles by Monday afternoon. That's a bit of an unusual track for Atlantic storms. Currently there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

11 a.m.

Hurricane Ophelia is meandering far out at sea in the eastern Atlantic, southwest of the Azores.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm was located Thursday about 715 miles (1,145 kilometers) southwest of the Azores. Its top sustained winds were clocked at 90 mph (150 kph) and the storm is moving to the north-northeast at 2 mph (4 kph).

No coastal watches or warnings are in effect, though forecasters say residents of the eastern Azores should keep an eye on the storm.

Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours.

The hurricane center's five-day forecast, which can change, has Ophelia heading toward the British Isles by Monday. That's a bit of an unusual track for Atlantic storms.

5 a.m.

Hurricane Ophelia is moving northeastwards far out over the Atlantic Ocean.

The hurricane's maximum sustained winds early Thursday were near 85 mph (140 kph) with some slight strengthening possible over the next day or two.

Ophelia is centered about 725 miles (1,165 kilometers) southwest of the Azores and is moving northeast near 3 mph (6 kph). The hurricane does not currently pose a threat to any land.

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