Tropical Storm Jose forms over the open Atlantic

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Both islands are part of the northern Leeward Islands, and are under a hurricane warning as Irma approaches the region.

On the heels of Hurricane Irma, which reached Category 5 strength on Tuesday morning, Tropical Jose formed. Jose is forecast to continue strengthening, up to hurricane status by Friday.

As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, the storm is centered about 1,505 miles east of the Lesser Antilles (closer to Africa than the United States) and moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph.

Reports from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds are near 180 mph with higher gusts, up from 175 mph to 180 mph with the 8 a.m. update.

The storm is now in an area that is favorable for development, but the effects from distant Hurricane Irma may slow its growth later this week, according to the National Hurricane Center. I have continued to be briefed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Hurricane Irma and current forecast models have Florida in Irma's path - potentially impacting millions of Floridians. Any land impacts were still unknown this early out.

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Elsewhere, it is too early to determine what direct impacts Irma may have on the continental United States, including the SC coastline.

Tropical-storm-force winds are present up to 45 miles out from the center of the storm, authorities said.

Forecasters are also watching a trough of low pressure located over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico producing numerous showers and thunderstorms.

Formation chance through 48 hours: 60 percent.

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