MIAMI — Hurricane Jose has now increased in strength to category 2 and the government of Antigua has issued a hurricane watch for the islands of Antigua and Barbuda and a tropical storm watch for the islands of Anguilla, Montserrat, St Kitts, and Nevis. The government of the Netherlands has issued a tropical storm watch for the islands of Saba and St Eustatius.
According to the National Hurricane Venter (NHC) in Miami, at 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, the centre of Hurricane Jose was located about 660 miles (1,060 km) east of the Lesser Antilles, moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph (30 km/h).
The hurricane is expected to continue on this heading with a slight decrease in forward speed during the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 105 mph (165 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Jose is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 100 miles (160 km).
Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area on Saturday, and tropical storm conditions are possible within the hurricane watch and tropical storm watch areas by Saturday morning.
Jose is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 6 inches in the Leeward Islands from Dominica to Anguilla. Isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches are possible in the northern Leeward Islands from Antigua and Barbuda to Anguilla. This rainfall will maintain any ongoing flooding and may cause additional life-threatening flooding.
Swells generated by Jose are likely to affect portions of the Leeward Islands by Saturday. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.