Tropical storm Charley is nearly at hurricane strength as it bears down on Jamaica.
Charley is now centered about 110 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. Movement is to the west-northwest at a slower 18 miles an hour, with a gradual turn to the northwest expected in the next day or so.
A hurricane watch remains in effect for Jamaica. There's also one for the Florida Keys from Dry Tortugas to Craig Key, with a watch possible for parts of the Florida peninsula later today. There's a hurricane warning posted for the Cayman Islands, with a hurricane watch flying for parts of the Cuban coast.
Top sustained winds are now up to 70 miles an hour with higher gusts. The National Hurricane Center looks for the center of the system to move near the south coast of Jamaica later today.
Forecasters say Charley could wind up being a stronger hurricane than first expected, since there are no major land masses in its path.
The current forecast track show Charley's center off Florida's southwest coast by late Friday night, before it curves over the pensinsula. But forecasters are so far reluctant to predict how strong it might be at that time.
Charley centered at latitude 16.5 north, longitude 76.1 west.
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