FIRST ALERT: Hurricane Jerry maintains strength, expected to stay off U.S. coast

VIDEO: FIRST ALERT: Hurricane Jerry continues to strengthen, expected to stay off U.S. coast

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Hurricane Jerry is expected to produce heavy rains over the northern Leeward Islands Friday but will stay away from the U.S. coast.

At 5 a.m. Friday, the center of Hurricane Jerry was located near latitude 18.4 North, longitude 58.7 West, placing it about 290 miles east of the Leeward Islands.

It maintained maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour and was moving to the west-northwest at 16 mph.

Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh said Jerry is still forecast to turn out to sea in the wake of Humberto around a ridge of high pressure. A gradual weakening trend is forecast to begin later Friday, but Jerry is expected to remain a hurricane during the next few days.

“On the forecast track, the center of Jerry will move north of the northern Leeward Islands Friday, pass well north of Puerto Rico on Saturday and be well east-northeast of the southeastern Bahamas on Sunday,” NHC officials said.

NHC officials say Jerry is expected to produce 1 to 3 inches of rainfall, with isolated maximum totals of 4 to 6 inches from Barbuda northwest across St. Maarten, Anguilla, and Anegada.

“This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash floods,” NHC officials said."Jerry is forecast to produce total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 2 inches with maximum amounts of 3 inches across the the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico."

Copyright 2019 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.