Bermuda, under a tropical storm warning, braced for Hurricane Rafael's center to pass east of the island Tuesday afternoon into the evening, forecasters said.
Rafael, a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, was about 345 miles south of Bermuda, moving north-northeast at 16 mph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 8 a.m. EDT advisory.
Rafael was forecast to turn toward the northeast with an increase in forward speed by Tuesday night. Forecasters said the hurricane was expected to begin weakening by Wednesday morning.
Hurricane-force winds extended outward from center up to 45 mph and tropical storm-force winds extended outward up to 205 miles.
Rafael was expected to produce 2-4 inches of rain across Bermuda.
Swells generated by Rafael are expected to affect Bermuda, the eastern-facing beaches of the Bahamas and parts of the U.S. East Coast for the next couple of days, the hurricane center said. The swells likely will cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
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