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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.

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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.