Tropical Storm Chris reaches hurricane strength in Atlantic

SLIDER-Tanya Matthews of Augusta GA protects herself from the sun while waiting for the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular to begin at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade in Boston MA

Tropical Storm Chris reaches hurricane strength in Atlantic

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.

Chris will move very slowly toward the northeast today, but will soon pick up speed Wednesday and Thursday and track away from the area.

With maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, Chris is about 200 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., according to the 5 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

An Air Force Reserve Reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to fly over Chris Tuesday afternoon.

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Though those in coastal North Carolina and Canada should continue to monitor Chris as it tracks northeast at near 9 miles per hour, no coastal watches or warnings are now in effect, the NHC said.

Many North Carolina beaches were closed to swimming on Monday due to heavy surf and risky rip currents, according to a statement from the governor's office. The center said people along the coast should continue to monitor the hurricane.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

By late week, Chris will bring heavy rain and gusty winds to portions of Atlantic Canada.

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