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Tropical Storm Jose forms over open Atlantic

The five-day cone for Tropical Storm Jose (NOAA)

As if powerful Hurricane Irma weren’t enough, forecasters are now monitoring a new tropical system, which has formed over the open Atlantic.

As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jose was a minimal tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph with higher gusts. The storm is far away from any land mass, and is 1,500  miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

At this point, the National Hurricane Center is advising interests in the Leeward Islands to monitor the progress of Jose. The northern Leewards are currently being threatened by Category 5 Hurricane Irma.

Jose is moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph and may switch to west or west-northwest at a slightly faster speed in the next two days.  The storm is expecting to strength and become a hurricane by Friday.

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.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 29.77 inches.

The next update on Tropical Storm Jose will be issued at 5 p.m.