Last Updated Sep 9, 2017 11:34 AM EDT
dangerous Category 4 hurricane," the National Hurricane Center said Saturday.weakened slightly overnight but remains a "
The storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, a slight drop from the 155 mph winds measured late Friday
The powerful storm is expected to fluctuate in intensity as it moves closer to the Caribbean islands of, Anguilla, St. Martin/St. Maarten and St. Barthelemy. As of 11 a.m. ET Friday, the storm was located about 120 miles east of the Leeward Islands.
Gradual weakening is expected after Saturday.
Tropical storm watches for St. Thomas and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands have been discontinued, the hurricane center said. The governments of Antigua and Barbuda discontinued their tropical storm watches for Antigua and the British Virgin Islands.
The islands in Jose's path were already devastated by Hurricane Irma, which struck earlier this week. Barbuda was reduced to rubble, , as people evacuated for Jose.
"Be patient, we're going to get you all out," Prime Minister Gaston Browne told residents.
Americans stranded in St. Maarten after island was devastated by Irma
A New York City woman and her three friends traveled to St. Maarten for vacation, but couldn't get on a flight off the island before Hurricane Ir...
Tiffany Bender, a New York City woman trapped in St. Maarten during Irma, told CBSN that she had managed to escape to the only hotel island left standing.
"I cannot even describe or imagine ever going through something like this and to be on the verge of it again is absolutely terrifying," Bender said.
Some of the Irma-ravaged islands could see tropical-storm force winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Jose, said Jeff Masters of the private forecasting service Weather Underground.
"It's insult added to injury definitely, but nothing compared to what they already went through," Masters said. "It's going to hamper relief efforts, so that's a big deal."
© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.