Jose an 'extremely dangerous' Category 4 hurricane, Katia upgraded to Category 2

A satellite image shows Hurricane Irma (left) and Hurricane Jose (right) in the Atlantic Ocean on Sept 7, 2017.
A satellite image shows Hurricane Irma (left) and Hurricane Jose (right) in the Atlantic Ocean on Sept 7, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

MIAMI (AFP) - Hurricane Jose strengthened to a powerful Category 4 storm on Friday (Sept 8) as it followed in the path of Hurricane Irma, US weather forecasters said.

The "extremely dangerous" storm was located in the Atlantic Ocean 670km east of the Leeward Islands, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said.

The storm was packing sustained winds of 240kmh as it moved west-northwest at 30kmh, the NHC said at 1500 GMT.

"On the forecast track, the centre of Jose will pass near or east of the northeastern Leeward Islands on Saturday," the NHC said.

Ocean swells "likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions" are expected to affect portions of the Leeward Islands later on Friday, the NHC said.

Hurricane conditions are also possible on Caribbean islands including Antigua, Barbuda, and Anguilla on Saturday.

Jose follows Irma, a powerful Category 5 hurricane tearing across the Caribbean towards to Florida.

Further west, Hurricane Katia was also upgraded Friday to a Category 2 storm as it churned towards the eastern coast of Mexico.

Mexico's National Water Commission meteorological authority said Katia picked up strength as it swirled in the Gulf of Mexico 205km from the major port city of Veracruz.