Tropical Storm Chris, the third named storm of this season, is forecast to become a hurricane by Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The tropical storm, which was named Sunday morning, is expected to continue gaining strength as it hovers over the Gulf stream’s warm waters in the Atlantic Ocean, AccuWeather.com reports.
Chris formed off the coast of North Carolina on Friday and is currently about 160 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras. It has been a mostly stationary storm so far, sustaining maximum wind speeds close to 45 mph, but is expected to remain “well offshore” of the U.S. coast. The winds extend at least 60 miles from the eye of the storm.
“Swells generated by Chris are expected to increase and affect portions of the coasts of North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic states into early next week,” the NHC says. Chris is not expected to move over the next two or three days as it develops into a hurricane and there are no coastal warnings or watches in affect, according to the NHC.
Still, Chris will “stir rough seas” along the central East Coast with heavy rains, thunderstorms and flash flooding also possible, AccuWeather.com forecasts. Residents of affected areas should be aware of possible danger. A man died on Saturday in rough waters in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, according to AccuWeather.com.
“The more likely scenario is that the storm gets swept away from the Northeast at midweek,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski reported, and will ultimately head towards Nova Scotia or Newfoundland.
The first hurricane of the 2018 season, Beryl, was downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday and is tracking in the general direction of Puerto Rico.
Forecasters have warned that this year’s hurricane season may be worse than usual.