Chris, a tropical storm churning off the coast of the mid-Atlantic U.S. states, strengthened to become a hurricane on Tuesday and was not expected to make landfall over the U.S., the National Hurricane Center said.

Hurricane Chris was packing maximum sustained winds of 140 km/h and was about 330 kilometres east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. The storm was expected to strengthen through Wednesday and then lose force from Thursday, the centre said.

Storm swells generated by Chris will be hitting North Carolina and other mid-Atlantic states over the next few days. “These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the centre added.

Chris was expected to remain well off the U.S. coast. Latest projections show it is forecast to pass well southeast of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia in a couple of days, then move near or over southeastern Newfoundland by Friday, the hurricane centre said.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned beachgoers on Monday to beware of dangerous rip currents after an unidentified man in his mid-60s drowned just north of Nags Head when he was caught in a rough surf current caused by the storm.

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