What is Hurricane Lorenzo and how strong will it be if it hits UK this week?

The remnants of Hurricane Lorenzo could bring more wet and windy weather to the UK later this week.

Lorenzo spent several hours as a Category 5 hurricane in the central Atlantic Ocean, before slipping back in force.

This made it the strongest storm observed so far north and east in the Atlantic Ocean.

The US National Hurricane Centre said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 155mph.

What is Hurricane Lorenzo?

Lorenzo was the most eastern Category 5 Atlantic hurricane on record.

It is the twelfth named storm of the annual season, and formed from a tropical wave that moved off the west coast of Africa on September 22.

It intensified into a Category 4 hurricane on September 26 before weakening because of an eyewall replacement cycle. However, after completing the cycle, it intensified again and became a Category 5 hurricane.

What is its present strength?

The Met Office said that Lorenzo has now slipped back to a Category 2, although it remains a large hurricane.

It is heading north for the Azores in Portugal at a speed of 10mph.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, although forecasters expect the storm to remain strong as it approaches the Azores over the next few days.

The Met Office said it “remains a significant threat” to the Azores on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Will Lorenzo hit the UK?

The Met Office said there is “considerable uncertainty as to the track and intensity” of Lorenzo as it continues moving north-eastwards in the Atlantic.

However, even if the storm does hit the UK later this week, the Met Office said “it won’t be a hurricane by then”.

It may reach the UK or Ireland at tropical storm force on Thursday, bringing heavy rain and strong winds and the risk of flooding.

What will the UK weather be like in the meantime?

More rain is on the way on Monday after a weekend of heavy downpours caused flooding in many parts of the country, leaving sections of the transport network struggling to cope.

The Environment Agency recorded 85 localised flood warnings across England and Wales, and 203 alerts for possible flooding.

"There will be another spell of rain across much of the UK on Monday," Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson said.

(Picture: PA)
(Picture: PA)
Waves crash over the promenade in Dover, Kent, as wind and rain batters Britain (Picture: PA)
Waves crash over the promenade in Dover, Kent, as wind and rain batters Britain (Picture: PA)

“In England there are 72 localised flood warnings and 180 flood alerts, and in Wales there are 13 localised flood warnings and 23 flood alerts.”

After a brief respite on Sunday morning, the north of England was forecast to receive up to 70mm of rain in 24 hours, causing treacherous travel conditions.

The Met Office said Northern Ireland and Scotland are due some more sunshine after a fairly bright day on Sunday.

Parts of England and Wales could see highs of 19C or 20C on Monday, a little above average for the time of year, but this would be masked by the wind and rain.

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