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Jerry weakens into tropical storm, passes north of Leeward Islands

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Sept. 21 — Jerry weakened into a tropical storm early Saturday as it continued its journey to the west Saturday and north of the Leeward Islands.

Jerry, which became a hurricane Thursday, is the 10th named storm and the fourth recognized hurricane of 2019 Atlantic season. It became a tropical storm in the National Hurricane Center’s 2 a.m. EDT advisory.

The center of the Category 1 storm is expected to pass just to the north of the Leeward Islands, which includes the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Saint Martin, Saint-Barthelemy, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Barbuda, Antiqua, Redonda, Montserrat and Guadeloupe.

In its 8 a.m. update, the National Hurricane Center said the storm’s eye was about 755 miles south of Bermuda and about 250 miles north-northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The storm was moving northwest at 15 mph with 65 mph maximum sustained winds.

During the next few days, Jerry is forecast to recurve over the western Atlantic. On the forecast
track, the center of Jerry will continue to pass well north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today, pass well east of the southeastern Bahamas on Sunday, and turn northward over the western
Atlantic on Monday.

Jerry is no longer expected to strengthen as it did on Tuesday and Wednesday, due to increasing wind shear. Most likely, at least through most of this weekend, Jerry has already peaked in intensity. Jerry spent time as a Category 2 hurricane during Thursday night to Friday morning.

“Outer rain bands from Jerry will brush over the northern Leewards, which includes the British and United States Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico during the next couple of days,” according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

“Winds could gust to near or just over tropical storm force, especially over the higher terrain of these islands. Rain could be briefly heavy bringing a general 1-2 inches,” Kottlowski said.

“However, if a heavier rain band sets up over these islands for a few hours, there could be a locally heavier rainfall amount close to 6 inches. This could cause flash flooding and higher terrain mudslides, he added.

While the projected track of Jerry later in the weekend and next week is one that takes the system over the open waters of the western Atlantic, well to the east of the United States, its progress will have to be monitored. Some indirect impacts on the U.S. are anticipated.

Bermuda could face direct impacts from a possible close encounter with Jerry by the middle of next week, AccuWeather forecasters say.

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