Irma moving towards southeastern Bahamas
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP):
The eye of Hurricane Irma is moving west-northwest off the Dominican Republic's northern coast as an extremely dangerous Category 5 storm.
The US National Hurricane Center said Irma has top sustained winds near 175 mph (280 kph) and is expected to continue moving between Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos in the afternoon hours, on a course taking it to the southeastern Bahamas Thursday evening.
As of 2 p.m. EDT, Irma's crisply defined eye was about 65 miles (105 kilometres) north-northeast of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, moving at about 16 mph (25 kph) to the west-northwest.
In the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose has rapidly strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane with top sustained winds of 105 mph (165 kph). Jose is following Irma's path, moving west-northwest at 18 mph (30 kph) over open ocean, about 660 miles (1,060 kilometres) east of the Lesser Antilles.
In the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Katia was virtually stationary Thursday afternoon, some 215 miles (345 kilometres) east of Tampico, Mexico. Forecasters say that Category 1 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph), should remain stationary through late Thursday, then approach the Mexican coast late Friday or early Saturday.