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Tropical Storm Rafael to Reach Virgin Islands Saturday: NHC

Some strengthening is expected over the next two days

Saturday, Oct 13, 2012  |  Updated 12:30 PM EDT
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South Florida's Worst Hurricanes

National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Rafael Saturday

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Tropical storm Rafael, currently bringing heavy rains to the lesser Antilles, is expected to reach the U.S. Virgin Islands Saturday night, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm was located 135 miles south-southeast of St. Croix at 11 a.m. Saturday and was moving north-northwest at 9 mph. It had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for islands including Culebra and Vieques, the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Martin and St. Kitts. There is a tropical storm watch in effect for Puerto Rico, the NHC said.

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The NHC said the heavy rain could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in “areas of mountainous terrain.” The storm is expected to strengthen over the next two days.

Patty is no longer a tropical cyclone. Its remnants, located 220 miles east-northeast of the Bahamas, were expected to dissipate by Saturday evening.

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