Hurricanes Irma (L) and Jose are pictured in the Atlantic Ocean in this September 7, 2017, NOAA satellite handout photo. NOAA/Handout via REUTERS

Jose strengthened on Thursday into a dangerous Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The hurricane is about 955 km (590 miles) east of the Lesser Antilles with maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometres per hour (120 mph), the NHC said in its latest advisory, adding some additional strengthening was possible during the next 24 to 36 hours.

Jose is heading for the Caribbean and models then show it veering to the north before Puerto Rico. Barbuda, which was devastated by Hurricane Irma this week, is under a hurricane watch, it added.