Kirk regenerates into tropical storm, may dump inches of rain on BVI

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Tropical storm Kirk is heading toward the Lesser Antilles and will bring risky tropical storm conditions to Saint Lucia and Martinique tonight and Friday morning.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 50 mph (85km/h) with tropical-storm-force winds now extending outwards to about 140 miles (220 km), mostly north and east of the center.

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.

Tropical Storm Kirk is slated to produce heavy rainfall over several Caribbean islands as it makes landfall later in the week, according to current predictions.

A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds of 74 miles per hour or greater.

The hurricane center's cone projects Kirk to become a tropical depression late Friday night or early Saturday morning as it moves south of Puerto Rico.

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A tropical storm warning is in effect for the islands of Barbados, St Lucia, Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe. It could regain sub-tropical storm status later this week.

NOTE: A Hurricane Warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves continue, even if the winds have subsided below hurricane intensity.

At 11 p.m., Kirk was about 170 miles east of Barbados. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area by this afternoon.

The complex area of low pressure that includes what's left of Subtropical Storm Leslie is organizing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Because hurricane preparedness activities become hard once winds reach tropical storm force, the Warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the onset of tropical storm force winds.

NOAA expects tropical-force winds to begin in the warning areas "within a few hours, making outside preparations hard or risky". "These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides", the center warned.

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