Tropical Storm Rafael forms in Atlantic

/ Source:

After forming Friday night, Tropical Storm Rafael was dumping rain across the Less Antilles in the eastern Caribbean on Saturday.

Up to 5 inches of rain was expected, with a few spots potentially at 10 inches, making for flood and mudslide conditions, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Rafael, the 17th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, will pass near or over the Virgin Islands Saturday night and eventually accelerate northward.

It was about 165 miles south-southeast of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, at 8 a.m. ET.

"Key forecast questions include exactly what effects will occur in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands this weekend, then how close it'll come to Bermuda next week and how strong it'll be at that time," reported.

Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands will "most likely ... get brushed by some wind and rain."

Rafael will then pass near Bermuda on Tuesday.

The U.S. coastline is not in Rafael's expected path.

On Friday, Tropical Storm Patty weakened into a depression without doing any damage during its short life.