Chris to become a hurricane, stir rough seas along U.S. East Coast
Tropical Depression 3 formed off the coast of North Carolina late on Friday afternoon and strengthened into Tropical Storm Chris early Sunday morning.
Chris will continue to gain strength over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, becoming a hurricane by Monday night. Chris, however, may move very little into Tuesday.
The intensifying and meandering storm will continue to stir rough seas and rip currents along the coast of the Carolinas and at the mid-Atlantic beaches during this time. There can also be an uptick in surf down to the eastern coast of Florida.
Beachgoers from Charleston and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, may find swimming plans disrupted. Only enter the water in the presence of lifeguards and heed all swimming restrictions that are issued.
On Saturday, one man died in the rough surf off Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, after reportedly ignoring the “No Swimming” flags posted by lifeguards.
Seas are expected to become too dangerous for operators of small craft. Cruise ships may have to alter their courses around the storm.
As the high waves persistently pound the coastline, there can be minor incidents of overwash and beach erosion. That is especially true at the Outer Banks of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia.
Locally drenching showers and thunderstorms can further plague outdoor and vacation plans across eastern North Carolina into at least Tuesday. The most persistent downpours may lead to isolated flash flooding.
Remember to seek shelter as soon as thunder is heard to avoid being struck by lightning. The 11th lightning death of the year in the United States occurred on Friday.
After Tuesday, the next press of slightly cooler air preventing the heat set to surge back into the Northeast from being as long lasting as the recent heat wave should finally kick Chris away from the coast.
The storm could still graze or slam into Nova Scotia or Newfoundland with heavy rain and strong winds later this week.
Beachgoers at the U.S. Northeast beaches may also notice an uptick in surf activity as the storm passes by. ■