Tropical Storm Kirk Redevelops East of Lesser Antilles, Warnings Issued

Tropical Storm Kirk redeveloped east of the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday morning and Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches were issued for some of those islands.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Kirk was located at latitude 12.1°N and longitude 54.3°W which put it about 360 miles (575 km) east-southeast of Barbados.  Kirk was moving toward the west at 18 m.p.h. (30 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe.  A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) indicated that former Tropical Storm Kirk had weakened to a tropical wave on Monday and NHC ceased issuing advisories on the system.  The remnants of former Tropical Storm Kirk moved quickly westward across the tropical Atlantic Ocean.  More thunderstorms began developing in the system on Tuesday.  NHC determined that sufficient thunderstorms had formed near the center of circulation by Wednesday morning to reclassify the system as a tropical cyclone and it started issuing advisories on Tropical Storm Kirk again.

A cluster of strong thunderstorms developed near the center of Tropical Storm Kirk.  Thunderstorms were also forming in several bands which were revolving around the center of circulation.  Thunderstorms near the core of Kirk were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the east of the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Kirk will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Kirk will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through an area where the upper level winds are not too strong.  There will be some vertical wind shear, but the wind shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification in the short term.  When Tropical Storm Kirk moves over the eastern Caribbean Sea, it will encounter stronger westerly winds and the vertical wind shear will increase.

Tropical Storm Kirk will move south of the subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean.  The subtropical high will steer Kirk on a path a little north of due west.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Kirk could be near Barbados on Thursday morning.  Kirk could reach the Lesser Antilles later on Thursday.  Tropical Storm Kirk will bring gusty winds and it could drop locally heavy rain.