.KIRK ACCELERATING WESTWARD OVER THE EASTERN TROPICAL ATLANTIC…

.KIRK ACCELERATING WESTWARD OVER THE EASTERN TROPICAL ATLANTIC… SUMMARY OF 500 AM AST…0900 UTC…INFORMATION ———————————————- LOCATION…9.1N 28.0W ABOUT 465 MI…745 KM SSW OF THE SOUTHERNMOST CABO VERDE ISLANDS MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…40 MPH…65 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 280 DEGREES AT 18 MPH…30 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1006 MB…29.71 INCHES WATCHES AND WARNINGS ——————– There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect. DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK ———————- At 500 AM AST (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Kirk was located near latitude 9.1 North, longitude 28.0 West. Kirk is moving toward the west near 18 mph (30 km/h). An even faster westward motion across the deep tropical Atlantic Ocean is expected through Tuesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or two. Weakening is likely during the middle to latter part of the week. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) to the north of the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb (29.71 inches). HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ———————- None NEXT ADVISORY ————- Next complete advisory at 1100 AM AST. Recent microwave data show that Kirk’s center is located near the eastern edge of the deep convection. There are a few curved bands trying to form, but overall the convective activity is oriented along an east-west line extending west of the center. Since Dvorak classifications from TAFB and SAB are T2.5, the initial intensity remains 35 kt. Kirk has been accelerating since yesterday, and the current motion is westward, or 280 degrees, at 16 kt. Low- to mid-level ridging over the eastern Atlantic is expected to cause Kirk to move even faster toward the west during the next couple of days, reaching speeds of at least 22 kt in 24-36 hours. A reduction in speed is likely after 48 hours once Kirk moves south of a large central Atlantic trough, but it should still be moving along at a pretty good clip. The forecast thinking is the same as in previous advisories, with the latest NHC track forecast still closely following a blend of the GFS, ECMWF, and HFIP Corrected Consensus model along the southern edge of the guidance envelope. This new prediction is a little faster than what was indicated in the previous advisory. Kirk will be moving over increasingly warmer waters and through a relatively low-shear environment for the next 2-3 days, which should allow for some strengthening. The biggest limiting factors for intensification would be the cyclone’s fast motion and possible entrainment of dry air. Like every other tropical cyclone which has approached the Lesser Antilles from the east this season, Kirk is expected to run into strong westerly shear in 4-5 days, resulting in weakening as the cyclone gets closer to the islands. The NHC official forecast is still not as high as the statistical-dynamical guidance and more closely follows the HCCA, Florida State Superensemble, and intensity consensus, as well as the trends in the GFS and ECMWF. Based on those global models, it is possible that Kirk may open up into a trough as it is approaching the Lesser Antilles and moving into the eastern Caribbean Sea, but for now the official forecast maintains Kirk as a tropical storm through day 5.