Caribbean Spared Second Hurricane Battering As Jose Shifts Course

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sunday September 10, 2017 – Residents of islands still reeling from Hurricane Irma’s battering were able to breathe a sigh of relief over the weekend as Hurricane Jose, which had been predicted to further pummel those islands, shifted course and gave them a break.

The Category 4 Hurricane Jose had been following hard on the heels of Irma which caused 25 deaths, as well as massive to devastating damage in Barbuda, the Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St Martin/St Maarten, St Barths, and Puerto Rico, was expected to pass close to the northern Leeward Islands yesterday.

But the hurricane, carrying maximum sustained winds near 145 miles per hour, eventually passed north of the northern Leeward Islands yesterday afternoon.

All watches and warnings have been discontinued.

In its advisory at 8 a.m., the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said a less intense Hurricane Jose, with maximum sustained winds down to 130 miles per hour, was passing well north of Puerto Rico.

It is expected to make a turn toward the north later Monday into Tuesday and gradual weakening is forecast during the next couple of days.

All watches and warnings have been discontinued.

However, the NHC warned that swells generated by Jose are still affecting portions of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and the northern coast of Puerto Rico, and will begin to affect Hispaniola, portions of the Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands over the next couple of days.

Meantime, a Category 4 Hurricane Irma with maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour has made landfall in the Florida Keys.

The NHC said while weakening is forecast, Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane while it moves through the Florida Keys and near the west coast of Florida.

Forecasters are also keeping their eye on a tropical wave a few hundred miles south-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands that continues to show some signs of organization.

The NHC said environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for some development, and a tropical depression could form during the next few days while the system moves generally northwestward over the eastern Atlantic Ocean.

The changes of developing within 48 hours is only 30 per cent, but that probability doubles over the next five days.

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