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Tropical Storm Jerry nearly a hurricane as it approaches the Caribbean

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National hurricane center

Tropical Storm Jerry picked up strength Thursday and is expected to become a hurricane today as it approaches the small Caribbean islands way out to the east, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“On the forecast track, the center of Jerry will be near or north of the northern Leeward Islands Friday and pass north of Puerto Rico on Saturday,” Hurricane Specialist Dave Roberts wrote in the latest storm advisory.

At 5 a.m. Thursday, Tropical Storm Jerry was located about 575 mile east of the Caribbean islands with maximum winds of 70 mph — just 4 mph shy of hurricane strength — as it moved toward the west-northwest at a quick 16 mph.

Read more at the Sun Sentinel.