Hurricane Jose weakened slightly overnight but remained a dangerous Category 4 storm Saturday morning, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm was about 160 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands at 8 a.m. ET Saturday, the hurricane center said, and was moving northwest at 13 mph.
A hurricane warning was in effect Saturday morning for St. Martin/St. Maarten and St. Barts. Hurricane warnings for Barbuda and Anguilla were downgraded to tropical storm warnings, and Saba and St. Eustatius also were under a tropical storm warning. Antigua was under a tropical storm watch.
Jose’s core is expected to pass near or just east of the northern Leeward Islands on Saturday, the hurricane center said, where Hurricane Irma battered some of the islands — Barbuda, St. Martin and St. Barts — just days ago.
The eye of Irma passed over Barbuda, a tiny Caribbean island of about 1,800 people, on Wednesday, destroying telecommunication systems and cell towers. The storm damaged about 95 percent of the buildings on the island, said Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of the nation of Antigua and Barbuda.
Before Jose’s slight weakening, it was the first time on record that the Atlantic had two hurricanes with winds of more than 150 mph at the same time, Colorado State University meteorologist Philip Klotzbach said Friday.
Fluctuations in Hurricane Jose’s intensity are possible for the next day or so, the hurricane center said, and the storm is expected to weaken gradually.
A third storm, Katia, made landfall late Friday north of Tecolutla, Mexico, as a Category 1 hurricane but weakened to a tropical depression Saturday, the hurricane center said.