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Tropical Storm Jose strengthens to Category 1 hurricane

THE ATLANTIC OCEAN (UPI) — The National Hurricane Center said Jose strengthened into a hurricane Wednesday afternoon in the Atlantic Ocean.

Jose strengthened into a hurricane Wednesday evening and its projected path has it nearing the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico over the weekend. (Image courtesy NOAA)

Jose formed Tuesday in the central Atlantic, more than 1,000 miles east of Hurricane Irma, and so far is following Irma’s path westward toward the Caribbean. The NHC said Jose is “quickly strengthening” as it travels west-northwest at 16 mph.

In its 5 p.m. advisory, the NHC said Hurricane Jose was located about 1,040 miles east of the Lesser Antilles with sustained winds up to 75 mph. Forecasters say Jose’s wind speeds are expected to accelerate as it moves north-northwesterly in the next two days.

Previous forecasts projected Jose to become a hurricane on Thursday.

There were no coastal watches or warnings in effect, though forecasters warned the Leeward Islands to monitor the storm.

The NHC forecast track shows Jose’s eye nearing parts of the Lesser Antilles Saturday afternoon and Puerto Rico on Sunday as a hurricane before it makes a turn toward the northwest. Jose’s preliminary forecast track has it moving north of Irma’s path, in the direction of North Carolina.

Jose is the tenth named storm of the Atlantic season so far. The eleventh, Katia, formed early Wednesday and strengthened into a hurricane in the evening.

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Tropical Storm Jose strengthens to Category 1 hurricane