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Tropical storm warning, watch posted

Dominican Republic braces for subtropical storm Olga, which formed in the Caribbean Monday.

MIAMI | December 10, 2007

Subtropical storm Olga formed Monday night in the Caribbean, prompting a tropical storm warning and watch in the Dominican Republic. Heavy rain was reported in Puerto Rico.

The warning for the northern coast of the Dominican Republic extended from Cabo Engano to Bahio de Manzanillo at the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The storm watch was posted for the southern coast from Cabo Engano to Punta Palenque southwest of Santo Domingo.

Residents in Haiti were advised to monitor Olga, which at 1 a.m. EST Tuesday was about 20 miles west-northwest of San Juan and 240 miles east of Santo Domingo. It was moving to the west at 18 mph, and was expected to be along the northern Puerto Rico coast early Tuesday and near the Dominican Republic later in the day.

Olga's winds increased to 45 mph and additional strengthening was expected before the storm reached the Dominican Republic. Forecasters said the storm was expected to dump 2 to 4 inches of rain in Puerto Rico, with some areas getting up to 6 inches. Forecasters said Hispaniola could get 4 to 6 inches of rain with some area receiving up to 10 inches.

"These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides," forecasters warned.

Olga formed in the Caribbean Monday night. The hurricane center said satellite, radar and surface observations showed that an area of low pressure centered over the Virgin Islands had developed into the subtropical storm.

Forecasters had been watching the storm for the past few days as it moved through the Caribbean toward the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Hispaniola, and the eastern Bahamas. Those areas were all advised earlier to monitor the system, which forecasters had warned could develop into a tropical storm or subtropical storm.

The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season officially ended Nov. 30.


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