Hurricane Leslie weakens as it nears Iberia
>> LISBON: Hurricane Leslie weakened slightly as it headed toward Portugal and Spain yesterday, with forecasters expecting it to bring heavy rains and dangerous winds and surf to parts of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Category 1 storm was hundreds of kilometres southwest of Lisbon, Portugal, and 935 kilometres east of the Azores islands, the US National Hurricane Centre in Miami said.
Leslie is moving northeast at 61kph and its maximum sustained winds decreased slightly to 120kph.
The storm was expected to pass north of Madeira and then approach the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula yesterday before moving inland today.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for Madeira, and forecasters said that portions of Portugal will experience near hurricane-force winds. Parts of western Spain are expected to receive tropical stormforce winds.
Leslie is also expected to generate swells that will affect the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Island throughout the weekend, in addition to the Atlantic coasts of Spain, Portugal and Morocco, forecasters said. The swells are likely to bring “life-threatening surf and rip current conditions’’.