Fresh after Hurricane Irma which destroyed Barbuda, a State of Emergency has been declared in Antigua and Barbuda as the country must now prepare for the passage of Hurricane Jose.
ABS Television said a voluntary evacuation notice has been issued by Prime Minister Gaston Browne for the people of Barbuda.
All senior citizens, disabled or infirmed persons are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity.
Browne said if the country comes under threat from Jose, a mandatory evacuation order will be issued.
In an update from the US National Hurricane Centre at 11:00 am, Hurricane Jose is expected to become a major hurricane by Friday and Antigua and Barbuda lies within its path.
Anguilla, which also sustained considerable damage from Hurricane Irma, is also on a tropical storm watch for Jose.
Details are as follows:
ABOUT 715 MI…1150 KM E OF THE LESSER ANTILLES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…90 MPH…150 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 285 DEGREES AT 18 MPH…30 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…986 MB…29.12 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS/CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:
The government of Antigua has issued a Hurricane Watch for the islands of Antigua and Barbuda.
The government of Antigua has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the islands of Anguilla, Montserrat, St Kitts, and Nevis.
The government of the Netherlands has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the islands of Saba and St. Eustatius.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Antigua and Barbuda
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Anguilla, Montserrat, St Kitts, and Nevis
* Saba and St. Eustatius
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
Interests elsewhere in the northern Leeward Islands and Virgin Islands should monitor the progress of Jose.
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
At 11:00 am AST (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Jose was located near latitude 14.9 North, longitude 50.6 West.
Jose is moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph (30 km/h). The hurricane is expected to continue on this heading with a slight decrease in forward speed during the next couple of days.
Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph (150 km/h) with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and
Jose is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles
(130 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 986 mb (29.12 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
WIND: Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area on Saturday, and tropical storm conditions are possible within
the hurricane watch and tropical storm watch areas by Saturday morning.
RAINFALL: Jose is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 6 inches in the Leeward Islands from Dominica to Anguilla.
Isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches are possible in the northern Leeward Islands from Antigua and Barbuda to Anguilla. This rainfall
will maintain any ongoing flooding and may cause additional life-threatening flooding.
SURF: Swells generated by Jose are likely to affect portions of the Leeward Islands by Saturday. These swells are likely to cause
life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.
The NHC says another advisory will be issued at 2:00 pm.