Tropical Storm Chris strengthening as it moves farther into Atlantic, NHC says

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Chris as of Tuesday moring. Via

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Chris as of Tuesday moring. Via

But the hurricane could cause life-threatening surf and rip conditions in some portions of the North Carolina coast and mid-Atlantic states over the next few days.

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.

The National Hurricane Center's latest briefing said its maximum sustained winds have increased to almost 85 miles per hour with higher gusts. With winds of 85mph, the storm is between North Carolina and Bermuda. The National Hurricane Center's advisory stated Hurricane Chris was located about 200 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and was moving in a northeastern direction at 10 mph.

Beryl, which was the first hurricane for the Atlantic season, formed on Friday.

No coastal watches or warnings were in effect. The center said people along the coast should continue to monitor the hurricane.

A study released in May estimated the death toll from Maria was about 4,645 - not the 64 long pegged by the island's government as the official death toll - which would make it one of the deadliest natural disasters in US history.