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Tropical Storm Rafael formed over the eastern Caribbean Sea Friday as a tropical storm warning was issued for the British Virgin Islands and other locales, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
As of 11 p.m., Rafael had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph as it moved northwest at 10 mph about 140 miles west of Dominica and about 185 miles south-southeast of St. Croix, according to the National Hurricane Center.
A tropical storm warning was also in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maartin, St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Desirade, Les Saintes, Marie Galante, Martinique and St. Lucia.
A tropical storm watch was in effect for Puerto Rico, Culebra and Vieques.
The storm was expected to turn north-northwest Saturday and move near or over the Virgin Islands Saturday night.
Meantime, what was Tropical Storm Patty weakened to a tropical depression.
As of 11 p.m., Patty had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and was not moving about 265 miles east-northeast of the central Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center said.