Chris strengthens to a category 1 hurricane far off North Carolina coast

Hurricane Chris expected to form by Tuesday; no direct threat to U.S.

Tropical Storm Chris approaches hurricane status

- Tropical Storm Chris has been churning in the Atlantic Ocean for a few days, and although it is expected to gain hurricane strength, it is not expected to make landfall in the U.S.

Tropical Storm Chris' maximum sustained wind speeds were at 70 miles per hour, the NHC said, putting it just 4 miles per hour below the minimum required for Category 1 hurricane classification.

The storm, however, may produce risky 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.

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An Air Force Reserve Reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to fly over Chris Tuesday afternoon. It was expected to further strengthen Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Many North Carolina beaches were closed to swimming on Monday due to heavy surf and unsafe rip currents, according to a statement from the governor's office. Interests in Atlantic Canada, including Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, should monitor the progress of Chris for potential direct impacts later next week.

The swells generated by Chris could also cause could cause "life-threatening surf" conditions, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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