A hurricane in Spain? Leslie is on the way there

A hurricane in Spain? Leslie is on the way there

Leslie approached Spain on Saturday as a category 1 hurricane.

Leslie is a very unusual and long-lasting storm that originated at the end of September and meanders across the Atlantic.

It was twice a subtropical storm, a tropical storm and a hurricane. And it stubbornly sticks to its hurricane status. The National Hurricane Center called Leslie "defiant" on Saturday morning.

Leslie threatened land only this week.

Leslie moved near the island of Madeira off the northwest coast of Africa earlier this week, and issued a tropical storm warning.

According to the hurricane center, it was the first known tropical storm warning for this area.

Now Leslie is heading towards Spain and Portugal, sometimes called the Iberian Peninsula.

And it's in a rare area, says Colorado State University hurricane expert Philip Klotzbach:

There is only one more storm that hit the Iberian Peninsula.

There was Tropical Depression Vince in 2005, which came ashore near Huelva, Spain.

The National Hurricane Center said Vince was the first tropical storm ever to hit the peninsula.

But there are records for another storm called the 1842 Spain hurricane that hit the area.

Starting at 10 o'clock CDT Saturday Leslie was about 195 miles west-southwest of Lisbon, Portugal, and moved northeast at 33 mph.

Leslie had 75 mph winds, making it a minimal hurricane.

The hurricane center said Leslie will flood parts of Portugal and Spain this Sunday and Sunday with strong winds, dangerous surf and heavy rain.

On its current forecast track, the center of the storm will be heading inland over parts of Portugal and Spain tonight and on Sunday.

But by then it may not be a hurricane. The hurricane center said that Leslie will lose its tropical properties and become a "post-tropical" cyclone, but it will have gale-force winds.

It could also bring up to 5 inches of rain, which could cause some flooding.

Leslie is expected to weaken quickly after arriving on the mainland and disbanding on Sunday.

That's Spain, and that's Hurricane Leslie in the west on Saturday. (NOAA)

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