Windy night in Bermuda, but no hurricane force winds expected.
Category 1 Hurricane Rafael, with winds of 85mph, is currently racing north-northeastward to the east of the beautiful island of Bermuda. Tropical storm winds are expected tonight in Bermuda as Rafael passes about 130 miles to the east of the island over the open Atlantic Ocean. Outside of some gusty winds and rain-bands, Bermuda should only have to worry about extremely rough seas the next 24-48 hours.
Rafael is tracking northward near 26mph, and is expected to increase in forward speed all while beginning to slowly weaken overnight and on Wednesday. This late season hurricane peaked out at 85mph, and should transition into an extratropical cyclone by Thursday only being an issue for shipping lanes in the North Atlantic.
Hard to believe we've reached the "R" name in this years hurricane name list, making Rafael the ninth hurricane of the Atlantic season. Last week, Tropical Storm Patty was the eighth tropical storm of the season, but Patty had an extremely short-lived lifecycle just east of the Bahamas due to strong wind shear.
Could we see a tropical storm or hurricane "Sandy" develop in the Caribbean Sea next week?
Weather forecast computer models have been hinting at a potential tropical system to develop over the northwestern Caribbean Sea for next week and track northward. This is way out in the forecast and errors are very large this far out. But, you also can't ignore that several of the models due want to develop an area of low pressure in the same general region of the Caribbean.
History shows that in mid-to-late October the Caribbean can be a breeding ground for some strong tropical storms or hurricanes, and the model trends and satellite loops will have to be watched closely going into the weekend.