Hurricane Chris rapidly strengthens into Category 2 hurricane

posted by Live 5 News Web Staff - 

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Hurricane Chris has rapidly strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane as it moves further away from the United States. 

Currently, the center of Hurricane Chris is located at 34.2 North, longitude 71.4 West. 

It's moving toward the northeast at near 10 mph. 

The hurricane is about 245 miles east-southeast of Cape Hatteras. Additional strengthening is likely Wednesday morning.

"The storm is continuing to move north and well off shore," said Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh. "It's not going to be a big issue for us." 

According to the National Hurricane Center, a continued northeastward motion accompanied by a steady increase in forward speed is expected through Thursday night.

"On the forecast track, the center of Chris will be near southeastern Newfoundland Thursday night," NHC officials said."Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 105 mph (165 km/h) with higher gusts." 

Forecasts show Chris will begin weakening, and the system is expected to become a strong post-tropical cyclone by Thursday night.

NHC reports show hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km). 

"When the hurricane reaches some cooler waters that's when Chris is going to weaken," Walsh said.  

Remnants of Beryl could regenerate later in the week

What is left of Tropical Storm Beryl was producing gusty winds and heavy rain over portions of central and eastern Hispaniola.

This system is expected to move west-northwestward across the rest of Hispaniola Tuesday and over the southeastern Bahamas Tuesday evening.  Little development is expected during the next day or so due to land interaction and unfavorable upper-level winds.  

The disturbance is forecast to turn northward over the western Atlantic on Wednesday where upper-level winds could become a little more conducive for the regeneration of a tropical cyclone later this week. 

Forecasters say the chance of formation over the next five days is about 50 percent.

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A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area.

Beryl's upgrade to a Category 1 storm made it the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season. 

Storms named Beryl have made landfall in the United States three different times over the years, in 1988, 1994 and 2012.

"The tropics have become increasingly active as we've flipped the calendar over to July," Meteorologist Joey Sovine said.

The first tropical storm of the season, Alberto, formed on May 25 on the edge of the Yucatan Peninsula on the western end of the Caribbean. The system made landfall in the Gulf but its remnants created downpours over the Memorial Day weekend.

Beryl became the first tropical storm to form during the actual 2018 hurricane season on Thursday. 

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