Tropical Storm Chris Meanders Off Carolina Coast; High Surf, Dangerous Rip Currents From North Carolina to Mid-Atlantic

the Digital Meteorology Team
Published: July 8, 2018

Tropical Storm Chris will continue to generate high surf and dangerous rip currents along parts of the East Coast as it loiters off the Carolina coastline the next few days.

(MORE: Man Drowns in Rough Surf Near North Carolina Coast)

Current Storm Status

Data from a hurricane hunter flight investigating Chris early Sunday found sustained winds had increased, allowing this system to be upgraded from Tropical Depression Three to Tropical Storm Chris. Additional intensification is likely over the next few days, and Chris could become a hurricane as early as Monday.

Stalled Storm Generating High Surf, Dangerous Rip Currents

Chris will remain stalled off the Carolina coastline the next few days.

Forecast Path

Another expanding heat dome of high pressure aloft building into the Midwest and East is responsible for pinning Chris off the Carolina coast into early week. By midweek, a southward dip in the jet stream moving into the Northeast states should help usher Chris farther out to sea.

Although Chris is likely to remain offshore of the U.S. East Coast, it will still bring impacts for beachgoers. High surf and dangerous rip currents are expected along parts of the Carolina and mid-Atlantic coasts through early week.

Gusty winds are also expected due to a pressure gradient between Chris and an area of high pressure over the Northeast. Some rain showers could also affect parts of the North Carolina coast.

Current Radar

Chris may eventually impact parts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland while transitioning into a strong non-tropical area of low pressure late in the week.

History of the Name Chris

This is the first tropical cyclone with the name of Chris to form in July. 

The most recent Chris was Hurricane Chris in 2012 which was an unusual storm in that it was only the second hurricane to form in June as far north as it did, 41 degrees latitude.

The name 'Chris' was also used four times for storms that developed in August, in 2006, 2000, 1994 and 1988. 

In 2006, Tropical Storm Chris brought heavy rainfall to the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola and in 1988 Tropical Storm Chris made landfall near Savannah, Georgia, after impacting the northeastern Caribbean.

In 1982, Tropical Storm Chris developed in the Gulf of Mexico in September and brought flooding as far north as Tennessee and Kentucky.

Chris was also used once in the western Pacific, in August 1948, for a tropical cyclone that did not make landfall.

The name 'Chris' was also used for three storms near Australia in 1982, 1991 and 2002. Cyclone Chris in 2002 rapidly intensified and make landfall east-northeast of Port Hedland in Western Australia. Significant damage was reported in some areas with extensive cattle loss and windmill damage.

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