LISBON, Portugal | Hurricane Leslie weakens as it heads toward Portugal, Spain

LISBON, Portugal  — Hurricane Leslie weakened slightly as is headed 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 hundreds of kilometers southwest of Lisbon, Portugal, and 935 kilometers (580 miles) east of the Azores islands, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Leslie is moving northeast at 38 mph (61 kph) and its maximum sustained winds decreased slightly to 75 mph (120 kph).

The storm is expected to pass north of Madeira and then approach the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula on Saturday before moving inland into Sunday.

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 storm-force 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.”

By Associated Press