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Tropical storm forms south of Puerto Rico

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September 4, 2013 10:59 PM EST | AP

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MIAMI — Tropical Storm Gabrielle has formed south of Puerto Rico, resulting in storm warnings.

Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said late Wednesday that Gabrielle was centered about 70 miles (113 kilometers) south of Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Maximum sustained winds were 40 mph (64 kph). It was moving to the northwest at 8 mph (13 kph).

Tropical storm warnings were issued for Puerto Rico and parts of the Dominican Republic, from Cabo Engano to Cabo Frances Viejo. It was expected to bring 3 to 6 inches of rain to parts of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eastern portions of the Dominican Republic.

Forecasters expect the storm's center to pass between the islands on Thursday and eventually curve back to the northeast away from the U.S. mainland. However, storm paths are difficult to predict accurately days in advance.