MIAMI (Reuters) - Hurricane Cristobal formed late Monday with winds rising to 75 miles per hour (120 km per hour) as it veered away from the continental United States, the National Hurricane Center said.
Centered about 665 miles (1,075 km) southwest of Bermuda, Cristobal is creeping north at about 2 mph (3 kph) and is expected to accelerate on Tuesday, the NHC said.
Cristobal, the third named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, soaked parts of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos islands on Monday, after drenching Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico at the weekend.
Two people were reported missing due to flooding in Haiti, according to local officials.
Forecasters this month downgraded their outlook for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, predicting below-normal activity with seven to 12 named storms, and no more than two reaching major hurricane status.
A major hurricane is considered to be Category 3 or above with winds hitting at least 111 mph (178 kph).
Below-average temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean are making it difficult for larger storms to develop, the forecasters say.
Hurricane Arthur, a Category 2 storm, made landfall on North Carolina’s Outer Banks in early July, causing minor damage.
A second hurricane, Bertha, formed over the Atlantic in August, the remnants of which caused heavy rain and high winds in the United Kingdom.
Reporting by Zachary Fagenson and David Adams; Editing by Daniel Wallis, Mohammad Zargham and Eric Walsh