Chris, the third storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, was named today as it gained strength off the coast of the Carolinas.
The storm is forecast to intensify into a hurricane over the next several days but remain off the coast before zipping off toward Newfoundland late in the week.
The storm, 240km south of Cape Hatteras, packs maximum sustained winds of 65km/h. It is nearly stationary, and little movement is expected until Thursday. As a result, it is forecast to continue generating life-threatening waves and rip currents for the Mid-Atlantic beaches. A man died in the rough surf in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, on Sunday, when Chris was still a tropical depression.
As the storm is positioned over very warm ocean waters, it is forecast to steadily strengthen over the next 72 hours and become a hurricane between Wednesday and Thursday.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
At that point, a cold front should absorb Chris and rapidly sweep it to the north-northeast toward Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. It should gradually weaken as it moves over cooler water.
As the third named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, Chris developed more than a month ahead of normal. On average, the third storm forms on August 13, said Phil Klotzbach, a tropical weather researcher at Colorado State University and Capital Weather Gang contributor.
Elsewhere in the tropical Atlantic, Beryl - once a hurricane - has weakened substantially on approach to the Lesser Antilles. It is now a minimal tropical storm, with peak winds of 65km/h. The storm is, however, forecast to maintain this strength as it heads west over the next day, prompting tropical storm warnings for Dominica and Guadeloupe, where gusty winds and 2.5cm to 7.5cm of rain are possible.
By Wednesday, the storm is forecast to degenerate but could still produce some gusty winds and heavy rain over Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.
McNoldy noted the simultaneous presence of two July tropical storms, Beryl and Chris, hasn't happened since 2011, when Bret and Cindy roamed the Atlantic.