Tropical Storm Kirk gaining speed in Atlantic

Florence caused severe flooding in the US

Florence caused severe flooding in the USSEAN RAYFORD GETTY IMAGES

Tropical Storm Kirk formed in the Atlantic Ocean Saturday afternoon, about 500 miles south of the Cabo Verde Islands near the western coast of Africa.

It's hard for a storm moving so fast to strengthen but forecasters think that might be possible for Kirk, albeit for a short time.

In an 11 a.m. update on Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said Kirk was moving west at 14 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds near 40 miles per hour.

Some strengthening is forecast through Sunday, with little change in intensity forecast on Monday and Tuesday.

Maximum winds remain at 40 miles per hour.

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Tropical Depression 11 formed overnight about 500 miles east of the Windward Islands and as of 8 a.m. Saturday, it was moving due west at about 5 mph.

A faster westward motion across the deep tropical Atlantic Ocean is expected Sunday through Tuesday. "After that time, with the development of the new low to the north, Leslie will likely move east until it becomes absorbed", forecasters said.

As forecasters warn of more risky flooding in the Carolinas from Hurricane Florence's torrential rainfall, they're also keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Kirk in the Atlantic. The complex would likely be a weak system if it does develop.

But by mid-week, those upper-level winds are expected to kick in again, which would stifle further development as the system moves closer to the southeastern coast of the United States.

"The strong upper-level winds now affecting the system are expected to diminish, and this could favor some development during the next couple of days", forecasters said.

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