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Kirk reforms as tropical storm, gaining strength

27 September 2018

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said tropical storm Rosa's current wind speeds of 65mph will intensify quickly, swirling into hurricane status later this afternoon. That high will help steer the storm west across the Lesser Antilles and into the Caribbean Sea. The storm had sustained winds of about 75 km an hour but was expected to strengthen within the next 24 hours.

Elsewhere, Storm Leslie was downgraded into a non-tropical storm on Tuesday although it could potentiall ramp up again in size later this week. Kirk does not pose a threat to Florida.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for parts of the Lesser Antilles, including Barbados and St. Lucia.

According to the 5:00 a.m. advisory, the center of Tropical Storm Kirk was located near latitude 11.8 North, longitude 52.7 West. Kirk is moving toward the west near 18 miles per hour (30 km/h).

As expected, the system regained tropical storm strength in the generally favorable atmospheric conditions just east of the eastern Caribbean islands. "On the forecast track, the center will move over the Lesser Antilles within the Tropical Storm Warning area Thursday night", said the NHC at 11 a.m. on September 26. The storm is packing maximum sustained winds of 60 mph with tropical storm-force winds reaching outward up to 115 miles from the center.

Meanwhile, an area of low pressure about 100 miles off North Carolina no longer has a chance of becoming a tropical depression, forecasters said. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within 36 hours.

Kirk is expected to approach Barbados and the northern Windward Islands Thursday afternoon and move into the eastern Caribbean Sea by Friday morning.

It said that tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the warning area by Thursday afternoon, making outside preparations hard or unsafe.

Rainfall totals from four to six inches, with isolated totals up to 10 inches, are possible through Friday from Barbados and St. Lucia northward across Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe.

Kirk reforms as tropical storm, gaining strength