Even as Hurricane Isaac weakened to a tropical depression Friday, bringing heavy rain and flash floods in Mississippi and the lower Ohio River valley, Hurricane Kirk, the fifth hurricane in the Atlantic hurricane season, advanced toward the northeast at 26 km per hour, a National Weather Service Bulletin said.
Tropical Storm Leslie and Hurricane Kirk
Kirk, which started as a tropical depression in the Atlantic Tuesday, was elevated to a Category 1 hurricane, but has been on the wane since Friday. The system is expected to gather momentum by Saturday, but is not expected to become a major threat.
At 4 a.m. EDT, Kirk had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, just above hurricane strength, and was about 830 miles south-southeast of Newoundland and 1,200 miles west of the Azores. It was moving northeast at 23 mph.
Tropical Storm Leslie, the twelfth storm of the season, continues to move west-northwestward and is expected to pass north of the Leeward Islands this weekend. At 4 a.m., its maximum wind speed was 70 mph, and it was 550 miles east of the islands.
The average number of named tropical storms in the Atlantic tropical hurricane season is 11. With Leslie, the average number of tropical storms has been surpassed in the first half of the season. An updated hurricane season bulletin issued by the NOAA on Thursday forecasts an even busier second half.
The NOAA bulletin has issued a tornado watch for Isaac in portions of northeastern Arkansas, southeastern Missouri and extreme western Tennessee and flood and flash flood watches and warnings for the areas of Arkansas, Southern Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana. The slow-moving hurricane is expected to enter Ohio River Valley by Saturday night.
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