Hurricane Jerry sends rain and waves to Leeward Islands as it continues on ocean path

Hurricane Jerry, which dropped to a category 1 storm Friday morning, is churning through the Atlantic on a path that largely keeps it away from land, although the edges of the storm are expected to bring heavy rain and dangerous waves to the Leeward Islands through Friday evening.

As of Friday’s 11 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, the storm had maximum winds of 80 mph and was headed west-northwest at 16 mph. It was 160 miles north of Anguila and 260 miles northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Jerry’s hurricane-force winds extended 15 miles from the center and its tropical storm-force winds extended 90 miles from the center.

Tropical Storm watches were in effect Friday evening for the islands of Sint Maarteen-Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy.

The fourth hurricane of the 2019 season is expected to stay well north of Puerto Rico on Saturday, well east of the Bahamas on Sunday and turn north on Monday. Over the weekend, forecasters said the storm will briefly weaken to a tropical storm before strengthening again at the start of the week.

On Wednesday, Jerry is expected to cross over Bermuda, which weathered Category 3 Hurricane Humberto earlier this week.

There are three other disturbances in the Atlantic basin — one to the south of Haiti, another well east of the Leeward Islands and a third over the eastern coast of Africa. Forecasters give the first a low chance of forming in the next five days, the second a medium chance and the one near Africa a high chance — 70 percent — of forming in the next five days.

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Alex Harris covers climate change for the Miami Herald, including how South Florida communities are adapting to the warming world. She attended the University of Florida.