MIAMI (AP) _ Hurricane Mitch grew quickly today, moving on a course toward Jamaica and prompting the Jamaican government to issue a hurricane watch for the island.

Forecasters, however, said they expect Mitch to take a westerly turn, possibly avoiding the island.

Mitch had lingered as a tropical storm in the western Caribbean on Friday, but its winds intensified quickly after sunset, said Ed Rappaport of the National Hurricane Center.

At 11 a.m. EDT today, the hurricane, with sustained winds of up to 90 mph, was 225 miles south-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica. It was headed north at 7 mph.