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Rafael picks up speed, loses power

Rafael expected to remain a powerful post-tropical cyclone

MIAMI | October 17, 2012

Hurricane Rafael picked up speed and shifted to the north-northeast as it moved to within 310 miles of Bermuda Wednesday, U.S. forecasters said.

Rafael, a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, was traveling at 33 mph on a north-northeasterly path, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 5 a.m. EDT advisory.

No watches or warnings were in effect.

Rafael was expected to take a more northeasterly tack and then shift toward the east-northeast Thursday, forecasters said.

Rafael was forecast to weaken and lost some of its tropical characteristics later Wednesday.

Forecasters said Rafael was expected to remain a powerful post-tropical cyclone for several days.

Hurricane-force winds extended outward from its center to 70 miles and tropical storm-force winds extended outward up to 275 miles.

Swells generated by Rafael were expected to affect Bermuda, the eastern-facing beaches of the Bahamas and portions of the U.S. East Coast during the next few days, forecasters said. The swells may cause life-threatening surf and rip currents.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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