The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Thursday morning that Tropical Storm Josephine now has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, after strengthening from a tropical depression that formed Tuesday.
The NHC said in its 11 a.m. EDT update that Josephine's current forward motion is expected to continue for the next few days, followed by a turn toward the northwest late this weekend or early next week.
Recent satellite data indicates the storm has reached tropical storm-strength.
"Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours," the NHC said.
Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles to the north of the center.
There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, but the NHC said that interests in the Leeward Islands should monitor the progress of the storm. Current forecasts bring the tropical storm north of the Leeward Islands by the weekend.
The storm is also forecast to move north of Puerto Rico Saturday and Sunday as a weakening tropical storm or depression, keeping impacts low.
The less favorable environment it encounters this weekend will weaken or dissipate the system in four to five days. Environmental conditions and direction also do not indicate a threat to the United States.
Josephine has set a record for the earliest "J" named storm.
Colorado State University hurricane scientist Phil Klotzbach tweeted the previous record for the earliest Atlantic 'J' storm is Jose, which formed on Aug 22, 2005.
This 2020 season has been active and record-breaking so far. The ninth named storm this season, Hurricane Isaias, made landfall near Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., last week after it broke the record for the earliest "I" storm in the Atlantic basin.
NOAA forecasters are now calling for up to 25 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher; of those, seven to 10 could become hurricanes. Among those hurricanes, three to six will be major, classified as Category 3, 4, and 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher.
That's far above an average year. Based on 1981 to 2010 data, that is 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.
The most active stretch of the hurricane season is from late August to early October, when most storms and major hurricanes are seen.
The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 and includes the names: Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.
Fox News' Janice Dean and Brandon Noriega contributed to this report.