First Atlantic hurricane puts Dominica on alert

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Tropical Storm Chris, the third named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, was about 180 miles (290 km) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina with top sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (85 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an advisory.

It was predicted to pass south of Puerto Rico on Monday as a tropical depression, but forecasters warned that the storm-wracked USA territory could see up to 30 miles per hour winds and heavy rains that could cause flooding and mudslides.

Tropical Depression Three has strengthened to Tropical Storm Chris off the coast of North Carolina Sunday morning.

The probability of at least one major hurricane - Categories 3, 4, and 5 - making landfall are 21 percent on the Gulf Coast (from the Florida Panhandle to Brownsville Texas), 22 percent on the U.S. East Coast and 39 percent on the entire U.S. coastline.

Tropical Storm Beryl is moving rapidly westward toward the Lesser Antilles at the eastern entrance of the Caribbean Sea.

More than nine months after Hurricane Maria, about 1,500 people in Puerto Rico are without power on the island; about 60,000 have only tarps for roofs. Tropical storm watches were in effect for Dominica and Guadeloupe.

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Tropical Storm Chris is now 150 miles south of Cape Hatteras, NC, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

That's according to the latest forecast released by Meteorologist Phil Klotzbach and his team at the Colorado State University on Monday.

By the time Beryl reaches near Puerto Rico, the storm is likely to have weakened into a tropical depression. It wasn't projected to directly threaten land over the next few days, though forecasters said it could kick up unsafe swells.

Although Beryl has lost strength and is expected to gradually weaken, forecasters said it will produce strong winds and heavy rainfall across the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola through Tuesday.

Chris is now 195 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, NC, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.

In explaining the changed forecast, they note that the tropical Atlantic is much colder than normal. It was stationary and only minimal movement was expected in the next few days. It was centered 210 miles (335 kilometers) east of Martinique and was moving west-northwestward at 23 mph (37 kph).

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