Hurricane Rafael update: Rafael to swing by U.S. this week

MIAMI, Fla. -- Forecasters say Hurricane Rafael has formed in the Atlantic Ocean south of Bermuda, hours after Paul rapidly grew into a major Category 3 hurricane in the Pacific off western Mexico.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said in a 6:45 p.m. update today that Rafael's top sustained winds had risen to near 75 mph, making it the ninth hurricane of the Atlantic season.

Rafael is centered about 560 miles south of Bermuda. It is moving north at 10 mph and forecast to pass near or to the east of Bermuda by late Tuesday.

Earlier, forecasters said Paul strengthened to maximum sustained winds of 120 mph and was 415 miles southwest of the tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

Rafael is expected to bring increased swells and dangerous rip currents toward the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Tuesday.

Pilot writer Cindy Clayton contributed to this report.

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