Tropical Storm Rafael is moving into a more favorable area for strenghtening and could become a hurricane by Monday. This would be our 9th hurricane and 17th storm of the 2012 hurricane season. The good news is that Rafael will likely not make landfall in the CONUS. A trough of low pressure will sweep the cyclone away towards the hurricane grave yard in the North Atlantic by mid-week.
So far Rafael has soaked the British and US Virgin Islands with as much as 3" - 5" of rain. Tonight the storm is lashing St. Martin with tropical storm force winds and heavy rain. The cyclone will track into the Atlantic early Sunday morning. If Rafael does become a hurricane, the biggest threat to the US will be high surf and dangerous rip currents along the Eastern seaboard.
You can follow the latest track forecast and current location on KHOU's Hurricane Central.