Hurricane Rafael Moves Toward Bermuda; Tropical Storm Paul Surges to Baja
The National Hurricane Center reported that Hurricane Rafael, after moving through the Caribbean and causing little damage, is heading toward Bermuda with tropical storm force win gusts occurring on the island. The center of Rafael was expected to pass east of Bermuda last night. Maximum sustained winds were near 85 mph with higher guests. Rafael is a Category 1 hurricane that is expected to slowly weaken during the next 48 hours. The storm is expected to product total rain accumulations of two to four inches across Bermuda. Tropical force winds were expected on the island last night but were forecast to subside on Wednesday.
Meanwhile Tropical Storm Paul, located in the Pacific just off the west coast of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico, was weakening last night. Mexico had changed all hurricane warnings to tropical storm warnings. It also discontinued the tropical storm warnings south of Santa Fe and south of San Evaristo. A tropical storm warning was still in effect last night from Santa Fe to El Pocito and from San Evaristo to Bahia San Juan Bautista. A tropical storm watch is still in effect form north of El Pocito to Punta Eugenia.
Paul was expected to continue to move near or over the west coast of the Baja California peninsula within the tropical storm warning area during the next day or so. A gradual turn to the northwest with an additional decrease in forward speed is expected late Wednesday. Satellite images indicate that Paul has weakened to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds near 70 mph. Paul is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 5 inches over the southern and central Baja California peninsula with possible isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches. These rains could produce flash floods and mud slides, especially in areas of mountainous terrain. A storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding along the coast of the southern and central Baja California peninsula in areas of onshore winds. The surge will be accompanied by large and damaging waves.
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