[Updated] Tropical Storm Rafael is a “potential threat” to the island, the Bermuda Weather Service said today [Oct 13]. Its closest point of approach to Bermuda within 72 hrs [3 days] is forecast to be 185 nm to the south at 12pm on Tuesday, October 16.
Rafael — the 17th named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season — has maximum sustained winds of 40mph and is moving NNW at 9mph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
Tropical storm warnings have been issued for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands as well as for Anguilla, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, St. Maartin, Martinique and St. Lucia.
Update Oct 14 12.56am: In their midnight update, the Bermuda Weather Service changed the wording from a “potential threat” to a “threat”.
Earlier they said it would pass 185nm off Bermuda, now they said the closest point of approach to Bermuda within 72 hrs is forecast to be 78nm to the ESE at 4pm on Tuesday October 16.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said: “Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph…85 km/h…with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Rafael could become a hurricane by Monday.”
Update 7.08am: In their 6am update this morning, the BWS said Rafael’s closest point of approach to Bermuda within 72 hrs is forecast to be 107 nm to the ESE at 3pm on Tuesday Oct 16. More information here.
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