Tropical Storm Chris to become hurricane, approaching East Coast

LOLA wave model guidance valid on Monday afternoon

LOLA wave model guidance valid on Monday afternoon

Chris is only moving 1 mile per hour to the south, which means it is essentially sitting stationary 200 miles off the North Carolina coast. This should help push Chris northeast into the Atlantic Ocean.

Some rain showers stemming from the storm could pass through the Outer Banks area of North Carolina through Tuesday night.

A turn to the northwest and then north was expected to begin by Tuesday night taking the system across the Bahamas and the adjacent Atlantic waters.

The Category 5 hurricane caused damages estimated at more than $100 billion, killed dozens of people by the most conservative estimates and destroyed up to 75 per cent of Puerto Rico's electricity transmission lines.

One of the complications with the intensity forecast for the storm has been that, as it sat almost stationary over one part of the ocean, it generated upwelling of colder water from below the surface - effectively working against its own interests.

"The main concern with this type of storm is initially heavy rain and strong wind, the impact of which is highly dependent on the track the storm takes".

Anyhow, we have seen this pattern of upwelling in the past and know, that once the storm starts to move away from the cooled upwelled waters the tropical cyclone will intensify.

The hurricane center said most forecast models are on board with this scenario, but some take Chris away from the USA faster than others. These factors combined will speed Chris's degradation to an extratropical low as it moves toward Newfoundland.

Martinique, St. Martin, and St. Barthelemy; Saba and St. Eustatius; and St. Maarten remain on a tropical storm watch.

In the Caribbean, the system will be the first test for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as they still struggle to recover from last year's devastating storms.

Environment Canada said the storm could approach the province by Thursday but Abraham doesn't think it can maintain a hurricane status over our cooler water this time of year. Those remnants will be closely monitored as we go throughout the rest of the week.

"Tropical storm conditions are expected in Dominica and Guadeloupe tonight". The weakened system will be one to watch, however, as environmental conditions will become less hostile.

Memories of Hurricane Maria haunted many along Puerto Rico's southeast coast, where La Favorita grocery store in Humacao had been swamped in 5 feet of saltwater, mud and seaweed. It's still not moving very fast however. The season's third named storm poses no significant or direct threat to Florida or the United States.

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