Hurricane Jose has intensified into a massive Category 4 hurricane, according to a Friday report from the National Hurricane Center.
Jose, which graduated from a tropical storm to a hurricane Thursday, is about 435 miles east-southeast of the Northern Leeward Islands and is toting 150 mph winds, the center said.
Jose was originally considered much weaker than Hurricane Irma, which wound a path of destruction through the Caribbean islands, but it has slowly gained mass while plotting a course for the U.S.
Irma, Jose’s larger and more powerful sister, managed to maintain 185 mph winds for 42 hours, making it the longest-lasting storm of this magnitude in the satellite era in more than 50 years. The Florida-bound hurricane is on its way to being the third-longest living Category 5 hurricane on record.
Irma is also the strongest storm on record to hit the Leeward Islands. Previously, the strongest storms to hit the island chain were the Okeechobee Hurricane in 1928 and Hurricane David in 1979, according to Klotzbach. However, Jose could overpass Irma if it continues gaining steam.
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