Tropical Storm Kirk named and is gaining momentum as it crosses the Atlantic Ocean

TROPICAL STORM UPDATE: Where Kirk is going next

The National Hurricane Center named Tropical Storm Kirk in its 11 a.m. Saturday advisory.

The storm, about 425 miles of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands, developed quickly, packing winds of 40 mph and moving west-northwest at 16 mph by Saturday evening.

In its 8 a.m. advisory, the system was predicted to become a tropical depression — characterized by wind speeds between 30 and 35 mph — with an 80 percent chance of doing so over the weekend.

But its rapid growth prompted its naming, though forecasters do not project it to continue at this pace.

11 p.m. tracking map National Hurricane Center

“It just strengthened a little bit more to where the National Hurricane Center could name it Kirk, but its not expected to rapidly strengthen,” said Stephen Konarik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami.

Tropical Storm Kirk is expected to gain momentum and move westward “across the deep tropical Atlantic Ocean” this weekend through Tuesday, with tropical storm-force winds extending outward from its center up to 35 miles. Some models forecast the storm strenghtening into a hurricane, although others predict little additional strengthening in the next three days, according to the NHC’s 5 p.m. advisory.

Konarik added that while it is important for Floridians to monitor the tropics in September, considered the “heart of hurricane season,” none of the storm systems currently being monitored pose an immediate threat.

“[Tropical Storm Kirk is] thousands of miles away from South Florida, there’s really no potential impact for at least the next ten days or so,” Konarik said. “On its projected path, it’ll continue moving toward the west across the Atlantic and maybe approach the Lesser Antilles toward the end of the week.”

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