Rafael Tracks Toward Bermuda

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (October 15, 2012)--The outer bands of Tropical Storm Rafael were drenching the Caribbean's Northern Leeward Islands as its center steadily moved over open ocean on a possible track toward Bermuda Monday.

There were no immediate reports of any significant damage or injuries in the Caribbean islands as the center of the tropical storm churns toward the north-northwest at about 10 miles per hour.

By late Sunday night, it was about 235 miles north-northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and was packing winds of roughly 70 miles per hour.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami say Rafael has grown to near-hurricane strength and could become one on Monday as it spins over the open Atlantic.

Rafael could then approach Bermuda late Tuesday.

A tropical storm watch has been issued there.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, the territory's emergency management director says authorities "don't anticipate any significant impact" from the passing storm.

There were off-and-on showers during much of the day on Sunday.

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