The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the territory as hurricane Jose moves along the north-west region of the islands.
The DDM said that considering the damage already done by Irma it will not take very high winds to cause further damage.
Jose will make its closest approach to the Leeward Islands on Saturday and is a smaller and more compact storm compared to Irma, the DDM said.
It added that consequently the destructive winds will likely be limited to very near the center.
At 11:00 am, the eye of Hurricane Jose was located near latitude 16.3 North, longitude 57.1 West. Jose is moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph. 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 mph with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles.
The minimum central pressure indicated by data from the aircraft is 942 mb (27.82 inches).
Jose will make its closest approach to the Leeward Islands on Saturday.
Jose is a smaller and more compact storm compared to Irma. Therefore, the destructive winds will likely be limited to very near the center.
Our current forecast track has the center tracking about 70-80 miles to the northeast of the Leeward Islands. This would be close enough to produce periods of moderate to heavy rain and tropical storm force winds over the Leeward Islands. Considering the damage already inflicted by Irma, it will not take very high winds to cause additional damage to structures already hit hard by Irma.
The British Virgin Islands remains under a Tropical Storm Watch. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
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