Hurricane Gordon churned across the eastern Azores early Monday after making landfall on the northern Atlantic islands, forecasters said.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Gordon was crossed over the eastern Azores at 2 a.m. Monday about 20 miles north of Santa Maria Island and 40 miles southeast of Sao Miguel Island. Gordon had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 80 mph and higher gusts.
The hurricane, which formed on Saturday, was moving toward the east-northeast at 20 mph (32 kph).
Forecasters said that while the Gordon was expected to weaken somewhat Sunday, it still was expected to be a hurricane after passing over the eastern Azores.
Gordon's dangerous surf and ocean swells could reach the central and eastern Azores on Sunday afternoon and heavy rains were expected, forecasters said.
State news agency Lusa said residents in the archipelago were calm, enjoying sitting on restaurant terraces and reading Sunday newspapers in the countdown to Gordon's arrival.
Lusa said residents had taken the recommended precautions and were prepared for the arrival of high winds and a heavy sea.
Gordon was due to reach the islands of Sao Miguel and Santa Maria early Monday, according to Portugal's Meteorological Institute. Skies were gray and overcast late Sunday, Lusa said.