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Tropical Storm KIRK


Tropical Storm Kirk Discussion Number   4
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL122018
500 AM AST Sun Sep 23 2018

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.


INIT  23/0900Z  9.1N  28.0W   35 KT  40 MPH
 12H  23/1800Z  9.5N  30.7W   40 KT  45 MPH
 24H  24/0600Z 10.0N  35.1W   45 KT  50 MPH
 36H  24/1800Z 10.2N  39.5W   50 KT  60 MPH
 48H  25/0600Z 10.4N  43.7W   50 KT  60 MPH
 72H  26/0600Z 10.9N  51.0W   45 KT  50 MPH
 96H  27/0600Z 12.0N  57.0W   40 KT  45 MPH
120H  28/0600Z 13.0N  61.5W   35 KT  40 MPH

Forecaster Berg