TROPICAL storm Ophelia ‘which could turn into a hurricane’ is being watched closely in the Atlantic off the Iberian Peninsula.
The climatology lab at Alicante university noted that ‘we do not know what course it will take from the end of the week but if it passes close to the peninsula the situation could become complicated in the north west’.
Local meteorologist Pedro José Gómez from MeteOrihuela explained that it is forecasted to hit the Portuguese and Galician coastline on Sunday evening and early Monday – and is set to affect the weather for the whole of Spain.
He told Costa Blanca News that the storm will change the atmospheric dynamics and shift the high pressure camped over Spain which is blocking low pressures and rainfall arriving from the Atlantic.
“Ophelia will open the doors to depressions from the Atlantic Ocean,” he noted.
“They bring very little rain to the Mediterranean coast but at least rainfall is expected at last in the rest of Spain.”
Sr Gómez said Ophelia will weaken due to the cold seas off Portugal and Galicia.
“Large waves and high winds are forecasted for the Portuguese and Galician coastline,” he said.
“But the rest of Spain is not expected to be hit by Ophelia.”
Ophelia formed on Monday as a depression and then turned into a tropical storm (see radar image above) but rather than heading for the Americas it moved towards Europe due to the high pressure over the Azores.