MIAMI >> Hurricane Lorenzo slipped back to Category 4 force in the central Atlantic Ocean after several hours as a Category 5 — which made it the strongest storm ever observed so far north and east in the Atlantic basin.
The Hurricane Center said that the storm had maximum sustained winds of 145 mph at 5 a.m. Hawaii time today.
Lorenzo was moving north-northeast at 10 mph and was centered about 1,315 miles southwest of the Azores, a Portuguese island chain.
There were no coastal watches or warnings in effect, although forecasters expected the storm to remain strong as it approaches the Azores over the next few days, and it might eventually reach the Ireland or Britain at tropical storm force.
Officials said swells produced by the storm were affecting parts of the northeastern coast of South America and the Lesser Antilles.