BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday September 27, 2018 – Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin over portions of the Lesser Antilles later today as a slightly weakened Kirk continues on its path towards the island chain which it is forecast to reach by this evening.
In its 8 a.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said Tropical Storm Kirk was about 60 miles east northeast of Barbados and about 170 miles east southeast of Martinique and moving towards the west northwest at 16 miles per hour.
The storm’s maximum sustained winds had decreased to near 50 miles per hour.
“Gradual weakening is anticipated during the next couple of days, but Kirk is forecast to move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea as a tropical storm,” the NHC said, adding that a slight decrease in forward speed is expected over the next few days.
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Barbados, St Lucia, Dominica, Martinique, and Guadeloupe, while there is still a tropical storm watch for St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Barbados Meteorological Services said in its 8 a.m. bulletin that the centre of Kirk is expected to pass about 50 miles to the north of Barbados between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
While several islands in the warning area went on shutdown pending Kirk’s arrival, it was business as usual across Barbados, except for the closure of public schools.
A statement issued by the Government Information Service this morning said: “It will be work as usual across Barbados today, but members of the public are urged to exercise caution and continue monitoring the passage of Tropical Storm Kirk. This comes on the advice of Acting Director of the Barbados Meteorological Service, Sonia Nurse, in consultation with the National Emergency Operations Centre this morning.
“This applies to both the public and private sectors, however, Government day care centres, nurseries, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions will remain closed.”
Nurse said heavier rains were expected as the day progressed, and it may become necessary to issue a flood watch or warning.