Weather experts said this morning that tropical storm Gabrielle had lost enough steam overnight to be downgraded to a tropical depression, meaning good news for Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
According to the Washington Post, Gabrielle started out off the coast of Africa in late August and slowly worked its way through the eastern Caribbean before heading to Puerto Rico.
Because the storm was drenching those areas with heavy rains–causing flooding and mudslides in Puerto Rico–it was expected to worsen in the next few days before shifting out to sea. However, the mountain ranges popular to the area disrupted the high winds, and warnings and watches have been lifted. Forecasters say there is a remote chance that the storm will regain its footing, but as of now they’re calling it a night and say it will likely be completely gone in the next 36 hours. However, tropical storm Lorena is forming off the western coast of Mexico today, and a tropical storm watch has been issued for the southern Baja peninsula.
Hurricane season has been almost disturbingly quiet thus far, without a single storm classified as a hurricane. Although it can be difficult to distinguish between a hurricane and a tropical storm–experts say the difference is the amount of sustained winds–many feel confident that no storm system has rolled through that can be given the ultimate title. The latest date a hurricane has hit during the season was September 11, with Hurricane Gustav in 2002.
Image: The Weather Channel