For the second time in its life, Ophelia has been upgraded to a tropical storm.
The system, which has strengthened considerably in the past few hours, now is projected to intensify into a hurricane by Saturday and potentially threaten Bermuda.
The projected path remains well clear of the U.S. coastline.
- Tropical Storm Ophelia is projected to intensify into a hurricane by Saturday.
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At 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Ophelia was about 180 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands, lumbering northwest at 7 mph with sustained winds of 50 mph. Earlier, its maximum winds had been 35 mph.
Forecasters expect the system to pick up forward speed over the next day. In the meantime, it is predicted to produce 1 to 3 inches of rain over the northern Leeward Islands.
Initially emerging as a tropical storm on Sept. 20, Ophelia was declared dead on Sunday, the result of strong wind shear. But it came back to life on Tuesday.
It's the second system to regenerate this season. On Aug. 4, Tropical Storm Emily was shredded by the mountains of Hispaniola and diminished into a low-pressure system. Two days later, it restrengthened into a tropical depression but failed to return to tropical storm status.
Tropical Storm Philippe, meanwhile, was in the Atlantic about 1,040 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, moving northwest at 12 mph with sustained winds of 40 mph. It is not expected to threaten land.