LISBON, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Hurricane Helene is expected to reach Portugal's mid-Atlantic Azores Islands on Saturday, the Institute of Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) announced on Wednesday.
Helene is currently in the eastern Atlantic Ocean heading north. It is classified as a strong category 2 hurricane with wind speeds of 150 kilometers per hour.
By the time it reaches the Azores, it is expected to have slowed down and be re-classified as a tropical storm.
But it will still pack quite a punch and it is forecast to sweep straight through the archipelago.
Helene could strike the western islands of Flores and Corvo or the central islands of Terceira, Sao Jorge, Pico, Graciosa or Faial.
This week marks the midway point of the Atlantic hurricane season, when storm activity has historically peaked.
Helene is the fourth hurricane of the season and one of three currently active.
The US is bracing itself for the category 4 Hurricane Florence to hit land later this week, while the lesser Hurricane Isaac is set to menace the Caribbean.