Ireland looks likely to be battered by Hurricane Ophelia as the storm races north up the Atlantic.

Currently Ophelia is just south of Portugal's Azores Islands but is expected to reach Ireland by Monday.

By then its wind speed will reach an estimated 75 mph and the National Hurricane Center, based in Florida, warned that, “Given the expected increase in the size of Ophelia's wind field during extratropical transition, impacts from strong winds and rain are becoming increasingly likely over portions of the British Isles regardless of the exact track of the center.”

They also warned of, “dangerous marine conditions” and Ireland’s own Met Éireann weather forecaster predicted, “outbreaks of heavy rain and very high seas”.

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Head of forecasting, Gerald Fleming, told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland that, "It seems like it will land on the south-west coast, the Cork and Kerry coasts, but I would have to issue a health warning that it's three to four days away and that track could change significantly in those days.

NOAA NHC

NOAA NHC

"We've been looking at the guidance over the last few days and it has been reasonably consistent but we know that if it takes a westerly track it could pass up into the Atlantic harmlessly, that is a possibility but at the moment it's likely that it will come up right over the country."

Ireland’s climate is typically wet and mild, so strong storms like those seen recently in the southern United States are rare but not unheard of.

Read More: Five worst storms in Irish history - anniversary of Hurricane Charley

People in certain parts of rural Ireland can still talk about the Night of the Big Wind in 1839 from tales passed down through the generations. The storm was so severe that many feared that Judgement Day was nigh but as the sun came out on January 7th, it was clear that the End of Days had not quite arrived; several hundred people had died however and thousands were left homeless.

More recently the country was battered by Hurricane Katia in 2011 which saw winds of 71 mph sweep the nation - roughly the same speed as those predicted for Monday.

Perhaps this video from six years ago is a clue to how things might feel early next week.

Ophelia from spaceNASA