CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Right on schedule, Tropical Depression 3 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Chris early Sunday morning, the third named storm of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Chris has not become much more organized since yesterday, however, the winds have increased slightly from 35mph to 40mph (39mph is the minimum for a Tropical Storm).
Chris is expected to meander off the Carolina Coast over the next few days, staying over the warm water temperatures of the Gulf Stream. Because of this, a gradual strengthening is expected. By the time Chris is forecast to become a hurricane early next week, it will begin more of an acceleration to the Northeast, farther away from land.
At this time, there are NO coastal watches or warnings in effect. Right now tropical storm force winds only extend about 60 miles from the center, which does not reach any land areas. However, it will still be gusty along the Coast with dangerous swells and rip currents at the beaches over the next few days.
Outer bands of rain associated with Chris will continue to graze the Outer Banks and coastal communities through tomorrow and perhaps even into Monday. While the cloud-shield will extend back into Eastern NC, the Piedmont areas and mountains should stay in the clear. This means we will have little to no local weather impact across the Charlotte Metro from Chris, with sunshine, low humidity, and overall quite pleasant conditions expected for our Sunday.