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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tropical Storm Kirk crossed St. Lucia and moved into the eastern Caribbean Sea Thursday night.

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At 11 p.m. the center of the storm was located about 25 miles west of St. Lucia.

Kirk is moving toward the west near 12 mph but is expected to resume a west-northwestward motion by early Friday and then increase in speed into the weekend.

On the forecast track, Kirk’s center will move across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea over the next couple of days.

Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 50 mph with higher gusts.

Gradual weakening is anticipated during the next couple of days while the system moves over the eastern Caribbean Sea.

Kirk is forecast to become a tropical depression Friday night, and degenerate into a trough of low pressure by Saturday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles mainly to the east of the center.

A station at Fond-denis-Cadet in the higher terrain on Martinique recently reported a wind gust to 68 mph.

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A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Barbados
* St. Lucia
* Dominica
* Martinique
* Guadeloupe

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* St. Vincent and the Grenadines


WIND:  Tropical storm conditions are likely occurring over portions of the warning area and should continue to spread across the remainder of the warning area overnight.

Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area overnight.

Locally higher winds are likely atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains.

RAINFALL:  Kirk is expected to produce total rainfall of 4 to 6 inches across the northern Windward and southern Leeward Islands with isolated maximum totals up to 10 inches across Martinique and Dominica.

These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

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Across Saint Croix and eastern Puerto Rico, Kirk is expected to bring 2 to 4 inches with isolated maximum totals of 6 inches by Friday and Saturday.