Hurricane Irma thrashes several smaller Caribbean islands

Credit National Hurricane Center  NOAA

Credit National Hurricane Center NOAA

According to The National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Jose is now a Category 1 storm with maximum winds of 75 miles per hour.

Two other menacing hurricanes, Jose and Katia, were swirling in the Atlantic Ocean basin and forecast to strengthen and impact land areas late Friday into the weekend.

Katia, a Category 1 hurricane, was 195 miles (314 km) east of the port of Tampico, blowing maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (121 km per hour), the Miami-based NHC said.

While Irma has followed a path expected to take it toward the U.S. state of Florida, Jose is expected to swing back out into the Atlantic after grazing Puerto Rico on Saturday night.

Hurricane Jose has been upgraded to a category 3 hurricane, and it is heading for the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean.

Additional strengthening is forecast, and Jose is expected to become a hurricane by Wednesday night.

Both had been tropical storms and strengthened into full-fledged hurricanes on Wednesday afternoon. This system formed in the western Gulf of Mexico from a lingering disturbance earlier this week.

Jose could hit some of the same small islands in the northern Lesser Antilles decimated by Irma.

There are now three hurricanes in the Atlantic. The center of Katia is expected to remain off the shore of Mexico through Friday morning.

Jose is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 miles per hour (28 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue over the next couple of days.

"Barbuda is literally rubble", Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda told ABS TV/Radio Antigua. It comes on the heels of Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic, and Harvey, which devastated the southeastern coast of Texas and parts of Louisiana with days of rain. The western quadrant of the storm was over the east coast state of Veracruz, Mexico.

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