Tropical Storm Chris to become hurricane, seen staying well off U.S. coast

(Reuters) – Tropical Storm Chris was expected to become a hurricane on Tuesday and create dangerous swells along the coast of North Carolina and mid-Atlantic states, the National Hurricane Center said.

Tropical Storm Chris is shown off the eastern coast of North and South Carolina, U.S., in this satellite image July 9, 2018 at 16:12 UTC. NOAA/Goes-East Imagery/Handout via REUTERS

The storm was nearly stationary early on Tuesday as it churned about 200 miles (322 km) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h), the Miami-based weather forecaster said. Peak wind speeds may reach 90 mph, it added.

Tropical Storm Chris is shown off the eastern coast of North and South Carolina, U.S., in this satellite image July 9, 2018 at 16:12 UTC. NOAA/Goes-East Imagery/Handout via REUTERS

The storm was expected to remain well off the U.S. coast, and latest projections show it is forecast to pass well southeast of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia in a couple of days, then move near or over southeastern Newfoundland by Friday, the hurricane center said.

The storm, however, may produce dangerous surf conditions, including a high rip along the coast of North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic states in the next few days and potentially creating life-threatening conditions, the NHC said in an advisory.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned beachgoers on Monday to beware of dangerous rip currents after an unidentified man in his mid-60s drowned in rough surf just north of Nags Head when he was caught in a rough surf current caused by the storm.

Many North Carolina beaches were closed to swimming on Monday due to heavy surf and dangerous rip currents, according to a statement from the governor’s office. Local officials were preparing to deal with any minor flooding or overwash.

Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee

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