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Tropical Storm Gabrielle forms and quickly fades as tropics stir

Tropical Storm Gabrielle formed late Wednesday and quickly weakened to a tropical depression Thursday, and meteorologists are meanwhile watching several other systems that could eventually become tropical cyclones.

The storm brushed past Puerto Rico and dumped heavy rains there earlier Thursday, but the National Hurricane Center's forecasts say it is not expected to restrengthen.

That means the unusual streak without a hurricane this season will continue at least a few more days.

The last time a season went this long without a hurricane was 2002, when Hurricane Gustav did not develop until Sept. 11. The last major hurricane to strike the U.S., meanwhile, was Hurricane Wilma, which hit south Florida as a Category 3 storm (after striking Mexico as a Category 4) Oct. 24, 2005.

Forecasters are meanwhile watching three other systems that could bring some more tropical activity.

One that moved across Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula into the Gulf of Mexico has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next several days, while another just north of the Lesser Antilles has a 30 percent chance. A third could be forming off of West Africa but still faces slim chances of developing quickly.

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