A tropical depression has become Tropical Storm Gabrielle, which was about 70 miles south of Ponce, Puerto Rico Wednesday night, the National Hurricane Center said.
As of 11 p.m., seventh named storm of the season had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was moving northwest at 8 mph about 160 miles southeast of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for Puerto Rico and the coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Cabo Frances Viejo.
What was Tropical Depression 7 formed south of Puerto Rico earlier Wednesday.
Gabrielle is expected to keep heading northwest through Thursday night, with a turn toward the north-northwest expected Friday with a slight decrease in the storm's speed, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm's center should pass near or just east of Puerto Rico early Thursday, and near or just east of the Dominican Republic Thursday and Thursday evening. It could deliver 3-6 inches of rain over parts of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eastern portions of the Dominican Republic. Isolated amounts of up to 10 inches are possible in mountainous areas, which could result in dangerous flash floods and mudslides, the National Hurricane Center said.
A tropical storm watch is in effect from Cabo Engano to Santo Domingo.
Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours for Gabrielle, which is currently not a threat to Florida or the mainland U.S. It is not expected to become a hurricane.
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