MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tropical Storm Helene is speeding to the north and is expected to bring gusty winds and heavy rain to the Azores this weekend.

At 8 a.m., the center of the system was about 655 miles southwest of the Lajes Air Base in the Azores. It was moving to the north at 23 mph with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles from the center.

Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours. Gradual weakening is expected after Helene becomes a post-tropical cyclone over the weekend.

A turn toward the northeast is expected over the weekend. On the forecast track, Helene will pass near or over the Azores late Saturday or Sunday.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for all of the Azores Islands.

Helene is expected to produce up to 4 inches of rain, with isolated amounts up to 8 inches, across the western Azores. This rainfall may cause life-threatening flash flooding.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence is lashing the coast of North Carolina.

Latest info for Florence

PHOTOS: Hurricane Florence From Space

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