Tropical storm warnings and watches are issued for several islands in the Lesser Antilles Wednesday (26 September) after Tropical Storm Kirk regenerated and is picking up a little strength.
The Cayman Islands National Weather Service, in its 11 a.m. update, said the center of Tropical Storm Kirk was located near latitude 12.1 North, longitude 54.3 West. It says little change in strength is forecast until Kirk crosses the Lesser Antilles, followed by weakening over the Eastern Caribbean Sea. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the centre.
Tropical Storm Kirk is moving toward the west near 18 mph (30 km/h). A westward to west-northwestward motion is expected over the next few days. On the forecast track, the center will move over the Lesser Antilles within the Tropical Storm Warning area Thursday night.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts.
The minimum central pressure estimated from Air Force Hurricane Hunter observations is 1002 mb (29.59 inches.) The US National Hurricane Centre issued a Tropical Storm Watch for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique, Guadeloupe are all under Tropical Storm warning. The Centre says “Interests elsewhere in the central and northern Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of Kirk as additional warnings or watches could be issued later today.”
The US National Hurricane Centre’s discussion at 11 a.m. states; Kirk is maintaining a CDO of strong convection over its center, but banding features are limited. Observations from an Air Force Reserve Unit Hurricane Hunter aircraft along with scatterometer data indicate that the storm has strengthened a little and the maximum winds are now near 45 kt. The SHIPS model output shows a large increase in westerly shear over Kirk within 18-24 hours.
Therefore not much additional strengthening is likely, and a weakening trend should commence in a day or so. The official intensity forecast is similar to the latest model consensus.
Strong westerly shear is likely to continue to adversely affect Kirk while it moves over the Caribbean, and the system should weaken into a depression within 72 hours or sooner, and become a remnant low later in the forecast period.
The motion is a little north of due west, or 280/16 kt. The steering pattern for Kirk is rather straightforward. A subtropical high-pressure area over the southwestern North Atlantic
is expected to persist and retrograde slightly westward over the forecast period. The flow on the southern side of the high should steer Kirk on a westward to west-northwestward track for the next