Hurricane (Orkaan) Leslie on his way to Portugal and Spain

Spain and Portugal are preparing for a hurricane (Orkaan). According to Weerplaza, hurricane Leslie comes ashore in the night from Saturday to Sunday in Portugal or Spain.

The hurricane Leslie, which hangs above the Atlantic Ocean, comes to land in the south of Portugal or Spain according to more and more calculations. If that happens, Lisbon, the Algarve and coastal areas near Seville will have to deal with extreme weather during the night from Saturday to Sunday.

Leslie is still south of the Azores. For the next 24 hours she will travel (it is the women’s name Leslie) in an easterly direction along the island of Madeira to the Iberian peninsula. Probably Leslie has been watered down from a hurricane of the first category to a tropical storm (wind force 10), but some calculations let her land with hurricane force (wind force 12).

It is certain that Leslie brings a lot of rain. Locally 75 to 100 millimeters can fall. In hill and mountainous areas, this leads to flooding and mudflows. Weerplaza expects Leslie to continue as normal depression afterwards. The storm then rapidly decreases in intensity and the chance of large amounts of rain also decreases.

Europe only had to deal with a tropical storm twice before. In 1967 the storm Cloë managed to reach the French southwest coast. In 2005 Vince came ashore in southern Spain. Both caused mainly flooding.

The hurricane is now still above the Atlantic at the Azores, but “more and more calculations indicate that the hurricane is heading towards Portugal or southern Spain”, according to Weerplaza.

If Leslie arrives in Portugal or Spain, the hurricane is probably a bit weakened, but there is still a chance of extreme weather. Places that attract many tourists, such as Albufeira, Lisbon, Faro and Seville, are hard hit.

Leslie is now a hurricane of the first category. If the hurricane comes ashore, it is probably no longer the case and Leslie has been watered down to a tropical storm.

Rain can cause a lot of inconvenience

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Just like in the United States, the amount of rain in the storm causes problems. “Locally 75 to 100 millimeters can fall”, reports Weerplaza. “Especially in the hilly areas this can lead to flooding and mudflows.”

During the night from Friday to Saturday and Saturday mornings, Hurricane Leslie will travel past Madeira. The north of the island is most affected by wind.

It has happened only twice before a tropical storm landed in Europe. In 1967 Cloë moved over the coast of the southwest of France and in 2005 southern Spain was hit by Vince.

It is quite exceptional that Europe has to deal with such a tropical storm. The last was Vince who reached southern Spain in 2005 and the last time before that, the tropical storm Cloë caused a great deal of nuisance in southwestern France in 1967. According to climate scientists, global warming is increasingly likely to occur in Europe, as was already warned in a study in 2013.

Leslie passed the Azores archipelago south of it, then on Saturday the storm came north of Madeira and then continued eastwards towards the Iberian Peninsula. The weakening of hurricane to tropical storm still means a storm with wind force 10 to wind force 12 (hurricane force). It is certain that Leslie is accompanied by a lot of rain. Locally 75 to 100 millimeters can fall. It is expected that the storm will be toned down in ‘normal’ bad weather on Monday.