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Hurricane Jose reaches Cat 4 as it nears already battered Leeward islands

Hurricane Jose continues to strengthen and is now an extremely dangerous Category Four storm.
   
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Sint Maarten, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.
   
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for St. Thomas and St. John, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis as well as Saba and St. Eustatius.
  
A gradual turn toward the northwest with a decrease in forward speed is expected during the next 48 hours.
  
On the forecast track, the center of Jose will pass near or east of the northeastern Leeward Islands on Saturday.  
  
Recent data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter plane indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 150 miles per hour with higher gusts.
  
Some fluctuations in intensity are possible for the next day or so, and gradual weakening is expected after that.
 


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