The center of Tropical Storm Kirk was located 595 miles east-southeast of Martinique.
"Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) with higher gusts, and rapid strengthening is forecast to continue through tonight". Because hurricane preparedness activities become hard once winds reach tropical storm force, the Watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the onset of tropical storm force winds.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique, and Guadeloupe, while a tropical storm watch is in effect for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. On the forecast track, the center will move over the Lesser Antilles within the Tropical Storm Warning area Thursday night. According to resources, there are no current threats to Florida from Kirk at the present time.
Little change in strength is forecast until Kirk crosses the Lesser Antilles, followed by weakening over the eastern Caribbean Sea.
Another named storm, Leslie, was downgraded to a non-tropical storm Tuesday.
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The storm is expected to be ripped apart by stronger wind shears in the Caribbean Sea this weekend. These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
Across eastern Puerto Rico, Kirk is expected to bring 2 to 4 inches with isolated maximum totals of 6 inches by Friday and Saturday.
The remnants of Kirk are gaining momentum east of the Windward Islands with a 60 percent chance they will regain tropical cyclone status over the next 48 hours.
The number of tropical storms and hurricanes increases substantially in August, peaks in mid-September and decreases towards a minimum by early November.