Published: Thu, September 27, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Kirk, reformed as tropical storm, gains strength

Kirk, reformed as tropical storm, gains strength

Regardless of development, sustained surface winds of between 25 to 35 miles per hour (40 to 55 km/h) with higher gusts are expected to spread across the islands starting Wednesday night and persisting into Thursday.

The National Hurricane Center said it is now headed toward the northern Windward Islands, where tropical storm warnings and watches were issued Wednesday morning.

In its 5:00 am update, the Barbados Meteorological Services said that Tropical Storm Kirk was centred near 13.5N 58.3W or about 85 miles (135 km) east north-east of Barbados.

Another named storm, Leslie, was downgraded to a non-tropical storm Tuesday.

The tropical storm was travelling westerly at 18 miles per hour and had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. According to resources, there are no current threats to Florida from Kirk at the present time.

Why? Wind shear. Shear, which refers to varying wind speeds in the atmosphere, is bad for tropical systems because it can weaken or kill them. On the forecast track, the center of Kirk will move over the Lesser Antilles within the Tropical Storm Warning area Thursday afternoon.

Little change in strength is forecast until Kirk crosses the Lesser Antilles, followed by weakening over the eastern Caribbean Sea.

Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area by Thursday afternoon or evening.

Meanwhile, an area of low pressure about 100 miles off North Carolina no longer has a chance of becoming a tropical depression, forecasters said.

Kirk is expected to produce total rainfall of 4 to 6 inches with higher totals of 10 inches across the northern Windward and southern Leeward Islands from Barbados and St. Lucia northward across Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe.

The second installment of Kirk, resurrected Wednesday from the first Kirk's remnants, was continuing to trek west toward the Caribbean at a decent clip, although not quite as fast as earlier in the week.

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