Tropical Storm Rafael grew into a hurricane over the Atlantic Monday and headed toward Bermuda, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
At 11 p.m. Atlantic Time (10 EDT), Rafael's center was located 25.1° North and 65.5° West, moving northward at 12 mph with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (11 above hurricane strength), the National Hurricane Center reported.
The ninth hurricane of the Atlantic season, it expected to pass east of Bermuda Tuesday.
Bermuda, a wealthy British overseas territory and global reinsurance hub, is often in the path of storms sweeping across the Atlantic from June to November, but it is well prepared for them, and major damage or fatalities on the island from storms are rare, Reuters notes.
On the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the National Weather Service is warning residents about a high risk of rip currents through at least Tuesday night, the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reports.
The advisory, for Dare, Hyde and Carteret counties, is in effect until 8 p.m. Tuesday. No advisories have been issued for southeastern Virginia.
Strong winds, combined with increasing swell from Hurricane Rafael, are causing the advisory. The most likely time for the dangerous rip currents will be a few hours on either side of low tide, which is about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Rip currents are powerful channels of water that flow quickly away from shore. They most often occur at low spots or breaks in the sandbar.
Anyone caught in a rip current should swim parallel to shore until they escape the current. They should only then try to swim into shore.