Leslie's maximum sustained winds Wednesday were 70 mph (110 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to strengthen past the hurricane threshold of 74 mph (119 kph) later Wednesday.
Swells from Leslie continued affecting the U.S. East Coast, as well as Bermuda, the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip currents.
Leslie is centered about 470 miles (760 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda and moving north-northwest near 2 mph (4 kph).
Farther out, Tropical Storm Michael is moving slowly north in the Atlantic but poses no threat to land. Michael's maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph (85 kph).