The National Hurricane Center is forecasting that Tropical Storm Chris will intensify to hurricane status later this evening as it slowly moves about off the U.S. East Coast. At 5am this morning, the center of Tropical Storm Chris was
located near latitude 32.4 North, longitude 74.6 West. Chris is drifting toward the south near 1 mph and is expected to remain nearly stationary during the next day or so. A northeastward motion is forecast to begin late Tuesday, and Chris is forecast to accelerate northeastward on Wednesday and Thursday. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure based on data from an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft is 999mb (29.50″).
Tropical Storm Chris is a strong tropical storm with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph; there are some higher gusts. According to the National Hurricane Center, strengthening is expected during the next couple of days, and Chris is forecast to become a hurricane late today or tonight.
Swells generated by Chris are expected to increase and affect portions of the coasts of North Carolina and the Mid-Atlantic states during the next few days. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Some coastal flooding and beach erosion is also possible, especially at times of high tide over the next several days. Even experienced swimmers and surfers should avoid the Atlantic coast until threats from Chris have passed.
Chris is forecast to parallel the U.S. East Coast and not directly impact it. As such, storm force winds and heavy rain are not expected on land at this time. Nevertheless, residents along the U.S. East Coast should closely monitor this storm should any forecast changes occur.
Beryl dissipated into an open wave last night, but still shows on the latest satellite image. The National Hurricane Center believes there is a slight chance Beryl could regenerate as it moves west in the coming days.
People up and down the entire East Coast and Gulf Coast should make sure they have a Hurricane Action Plan. The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season runs through to the end of November. Even if Chris isn’t a direct threat, other storms this season could be.