LISBON, Portugal – Hurricane Leslie was quickly heading toward Portugal and Spain on Saturday, with forecasters expecting it to bring heavy rains and dangerous winds and surf to parts of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Category 1 storm was 500 kilometres (310 miles) southwest of Lisbon, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
Leslie is moving northeast at 38 mph (61 kph) and its maximum sustained winds are 75 mph (120 kph).
The Portuguese government discontinued a tropical storm warning for Madeira, with Leslie expected to reach the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula before moving inland into Sunday.
Forecasters said that portions of Portugal will experience near hurricane-force winds. Parts of western Spain are expected to receive tropical storm-force winds.
Leslie is still 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.”