Tropical Storm Chris expected to strengthen, spare NC coast

View The Original Article Here

The National Hurricane Center forecast the storm could become a hurricane Monday.

N.C. COAST — Tropical Storm Chris is expected to strengthen to a hurricane Monday off the North Carolina coast, but is unlikely to cause problems on land.

As of Sunday evening, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that Chris, which grew from a tropical depression to a tropical storm Sunday, was sitting 180 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras. Chris’ maximum sustained winds were 50 miles per hour, and the storm was stationary over the Atlantic Ocean.

The NHC forecast that Chris would strengthen to hurricane Monday before slowly moving northeast off the coast throughout the week. Tropical storm-force winds extended roughly 60 miles out from the storm’s center, giving parts of the North Carolina coast between a 5 and 30 percent chance of seeing those wind speeds.

While no coastal watches or warnings were in effect in Southeastern N.C. Sunday evening, the NHC advised that Chris will generate ocean swells throughout the week. Those swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip currents at local beaches, and beachgoers are asked to monitor conditions.

Meanwhile, the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl were headed toward the Carribean Sunday. Beryl was expected to restrengthen to a tropical storm Monday, but so far poses no risks to the East Coast, according to the NHC.

Reporter Cammie Bellamy can be reached at 910-343-2339 or