A map showing the positions of Hurricane Igor and tropical storm Julia. ((CBC))

Hurricane Igor weakened to a Category 4 storm late Monday as it continued to churn far out in the Atlantic Ocean.

As of 11 p.m. AT, Igor's top sustained winds were about 220 km/h, down from earlier winds of 240 km/h.

"Some fluctuation in intensity is likely during the next couple of days. But Igor is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Wednesday," said forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.


This satellite image taken Monday shows Hurricane Igor, left, east of the northern Leeward Islands and tropical storm Julia south-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. ((Associated Press/NOAA))

Igor was centred about 1,260 kilometres east of the northern Leeward Islands, and the storm was moving west at 15 km/h. The hurricane is expected to turn toward the west-northwest Tuesday followed by a turn toward the northwest early Wednesday.

Farther back is tropical storm Julia, which formed on Sunday. Julia is nearing the southern Cape Verde Islands and could become a hurricane this week.