Washington (AFP) - Tropical Storm Cristobal headed away from the Bahamas on Monday and churned toward Bermuda likely to gain strength and hit hurricane status, US forecasters said.
The storm, which had previously been on course to hit the Bahamas, should become a hurricane on Wednesday as it passes west and north of Bermuda, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
Cristobal was packing maximum sustained winds of 60 miles (95 kilometer) per hour as it whirled some 670 miles southwest of Bermuda.
The storm, which authorities said had left one person missing in the Dominican Republic, was forecast "to move away from the Bahamas through Tuesday and pass west of Bermuda on Wednesday."
A tropical storm watch was in effect for Bermuda.
Cristobal was likely to dump four to eight inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain over the Turks and Caicos Islands and parts of the southeastern and central Bahamas through Tuesday, with up to 12 inches in some area, the NHC said.