Hurricane Lorenzo breaks record in mid-Atlantic

The green coastline of Sao Jorge Island on a calm day. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sao Jorge Island, and island in the Azores, is currently on hurricane watch.

Hurricane Lorenzo, which is approaching the Azores, has broken the record for strongest storm this far north and east in the Atlantic.

The storm strengthened briefly to a category 5 on Saturday, and has since been downgraded to a category 2 with winds of up to 105mph (165km/h).

Rainfall could cause life-threatening flash flooding in the Azores, the US National Hurricane Centre says.

The storm could cause some weather effects in the UK later in the week.

It is expected to pass the Azores early on Wednesday.

Four inches (10cm) of rainfall is expected over the western Azores and up to 1in (2.5cm) over Central Azores.

Lorenzo is expected to weaken to 90mph winds by the time it reaches the islands, but would "still be impactful for those islands", BBC meteorologist Nikki Berry said.

Portugal's Civil Protection department has urged to take precautions, such as felling trees at risk of falling, and keeping drainage systems clear.

After Wednesday, the path of the storm is less certain at it moves north-east.

"The biggest impact would be on Ireland and north-west Scotland," Ms Berry said, noting that effects could include significant winds and some wet weather.