Hurricane Chris was upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane Tuesday, as Tropical Depression 3 formed off the coast of North Carolina late on Friday afternoon and strengthened early Sunday morning. Chris is the third named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. There have been seven tropical cyclones named Chris in the Atlantic Ocean over the last few decades.
Hurricane Chris formed off the U.S. East Coast Tuesday afternoon. This is the second hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. As of Tuesday evening, Chris was a Category 1 Hurricane with sustained winds of 85 mph and gusts to 105 mph, according to NBC 15.
“The current path will keep it away form land between Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast. as it moves towards Newfoundland. As this happens, Chris will encounter cooler waters and weaken,” NBC reports. “Based on the current track, no interaction with land is expected. Although no hurricane watches or warnings are in place, Chris will bring life threatening surf and rip currents up the East Coast in the days to come.”
Chris was only recently upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane. WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss said that, by late Monday or Tuesday, Chris is expected to increase in speed, around 70 mph, before moving away toward the north and east by Wednesday, according to WRAL.
“Chris could bring some strong winds to the sounds or the Outer Banks over the next day or two,” said Moss. “Its forecast track keeps it lingering off the coast for a couple days.” Swimmers should be aware of rip currents and rough conditions as the storm passes along the coast.
The National Weather Service released a statement expecting “rough surf and dangerous rip currents,” with the elevated rip current threat continuing through the week. The storm is currently stationary, with winds expected up to 40 miles an hour as of Sunday morning. Chris is hovering 150 miles south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
“Chris will continue to gain strength over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, but may move very little through at least Monday,” Accuweather predicts.
WYFF4 suggests tropical storm Chris will “linger off the coast of the Carolinas well into next week before it will likely get pulled east into the Atlantic Ocean later in the week.”
“Beachgoers from Charleston and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, may find swimming plans disrupted. Only enter the water in the presence of lifeguards and heed all swimming restrictions that are issued,” Accuweather states.
On Saturday, a man was killed in the rough surf off Kill Devil Hills, NC, after ignoring the “no swimming” signs posted around the beach by lifeguards.
Meanwhile, forecasters continue to track Beryl, which dropped from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm over the weekend. According to Moss, Beryl is currently weakening as it approaches the Caribbean.
This is a developing story. Heavy will continue to update as more information is known.