Kirk to eye northern Caribbean after pounding Barbados with flooding, power outages
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
September 29, 2018, 5:07:04 AM EDT
Kirk will cruise through the Caribbean Sea with gusty winds, rough seas and the risk of flash flooding to some of the islands this weekend.
After becoming unhinged earlier this week, Kirk recently regained tropical storm status on Wednesday. The storm passed over St. Lucia on Thursday night.
During late Thursday and Thursday night, Barbados was hit hard with torrential rain and strong wind gusts. There have been numerous reports of flooding and power outages on the island, which have closed roads and schools.
Strong wind shear has greatly distorted the storm, causing it to weaken to a tropical rainstorm late Friday. Kirk is expected to continue to dissipate as it cruises through the Caribbean Sea through the weekend.
Wind shear is the increase in wind speed at higher elevation and over horizontal distance in the atmosphere. Strong wind shear can cause a well-developed tropical storm or hurricane to weaken.
Despite Kirk weakening, clusters of showers and thunderstorms will spread westward and may bring localized flash flooding to the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms may linger in the wake of the storm over the Windward and Leeward Islands this weekend.
Only if wind shear weakens considerably over the Caribbean would Kirk stand a chance of rebounding and reaching Central America or the Gulf of Mexico during early October.
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In addition to Kirk, Leslie, located over the central Atlantic, regained subtropical storm status on Friday afternoon.
Since Leslie is in a zone of the Atlantic with light winds, it may remain a feature for a week or more.
Direct impacts from Leslie are not a concern for land areas at this time. However, shipping interests may want to avoid the area for smooth voyage. The storm is producing a broad area of gales and rough seas over the central Atlantic.
Some of these swells will reach the Azores and Bermuda through next week.
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