Tropical Storm Chris forms off Carolinas; Beryl remains storms

Rain and storm winds blowing trees

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday that the storm has barely moved since Saturday but was likely to strengthen in the coming days.

Chris was upgraded from a tropical depression to a tropical storm on Sunday.

Now, it's moving west-northwest at 23 mph with 45 mph sustained winds that extend 45 miles from the storm's center, still described as "disorganized".

The next hurricane advisory is scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday.

Off the U.S. East Coast, Tropical Storm Chris had maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (95 kph) late Sunday.

Chris formed off the coast of North Carolina on Friday and is now about 160 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras.

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Puerto Rico also suffered widespread damage from Hurricane Maria, and Gov. Ricardo Rossello had anxious the island could experience power outages if Beryl arrived as a tropical storm as originally forecast.

While the storm was not expected to make landfall as of Sunday afternoon, it will bring "life threatening" rough surf and unsafe rip currents along the East Coast, the weather service said. "Hence the tropical storm watch for Barbados has been discontinued", the Barbados Met Office said last this morning.

Forecasters expect gradual weakening during the next 48 hours and it will degenerate into a trough of low pressure as it moves across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea by Monday.

The storm was forecast to weaken into a low-pressure system Monday by the time it reaches seas just south of Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September.

The storm is, however, forecast to maintain this strength as it heads west over the next day, prompting tropical storm warnings for Dominica and Guadeloupe, where gusty winds and one to three inches of rain are possible.

About 7,000 houses and businesses in Puerto Rico still lack power after Hurricane Maria leveled an electricity grid that was ill-maintained before the storm.

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