Tropical Storm Rafael dumps rain in east Caribbean

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Associated Press

Posted on October 14, 2012 at 2:31 AM

Updated Sunday, Oct 14 at 6:33 AM

MIAMI (AP) — Forecasters say Tropical Storm Rafael is unleashing heavy rains over the Leeward Islands.

The storm was centered about 100 miles (165 kilometers) north-northwest of St. Martin at 8 a.m. EDT Sunday while gradually moving away from the Virgin Islands. Rafael had top sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph) and was moving north-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Rafael could become a hurricane by late Monday. Forecasters say interests in Bermuda should monitor Rafael's progress as a tropical storm or hurricane watch may be required for Bermuda later Sunday.

A tropical storm warning has been discontinued for Anguilla. Earlier Sunday, a tropical storm watch was discontinued for Puerto Rico.

Forecasters say Rafael also raised the threat of dangerous surf.

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