MIAMI (AP) -- 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. EDT update Monday that Rafael's top sustained winds had risen to near 75 mph (120 kph), making it the ninth hurricane of the Atlantic season.
Rafael is centered about 560 miles (905 kilometers) south of Bermuda. It is moving north at 10 mph (17 kph) and forecast to pass near or to the east of Bermuda by late Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Paul has rapidly strengthened into a major Category 3 storm in the Pacific off Mexico, prompting a hurricane warning for a swath of Baja California's western coast, forecasters said Monday.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Paul's maximum sustained winds had ratcheted up to 120 mph (195 kph) as of 5 p.m. EDT Monday. Paul was centered about 415 miles (670 kilometers) southwest of the tip of the Baja peninsula and moving north-northeast at 13 mph (20 kph).
Forecasters said Paul was expected to approach the western coast of the southern Baja peninsula by late Tuesday and be near or over the central Baja peninsula on Wednesday. The hurricane was expected to begin weakening Tuesday, the hurricane center said.
Mexico's government, meanwhile, changed a tropical storm warning for the peninsula's western coast from Santa Fe north to Puerto San Andresito to a hurricane warning, according to the center. It said Mexico also has issued a tropical storm warning on Baja's western flank from north of Puerto San Andresito to Punta Abrejojos and also from Agua Blanca to south of San Fe. A tropical storm watch is in effect for some other coastal areas in the storm's projected path.
In the Atlantic, meanwhile, Tropical Storm Rafael could reach hurricane strength sometime Monday night or Tuesday, the hurricane center said.
Rafael's maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 kph). It's centered about 570 miles (915 kilometers) south of Bermuda, where a tropical storm warning has been issued. Rafael was moving north at 10 mph (17 kph).
The hurricane center said Rafael was expected to turn toward the northeast in coming hours on a forecast track that would take its center near or to the east of Bermuda late Tuesday or Tuesday night.