Cristobal expected to become hurricane, stay east of NC's coast

Posted August 24, 2014 11:29 a.m. EDT

Tropical Storm Cristobal

— Tropical Storm Cristobal will likely become a Category 1 hurricane late Wednesday or early Thursday, but it is not expected to hit North Carolina's coast.

The forecast track shows Cristobal heading straight for North Carolina on Tuesday and Wednesday and then taking a sharp right turn early Thursday, keeping it out in the ocean.

"It’s been a very uncertain storm, as far as projecting its path," said WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss. "There’s still some uncertainty associated with it now, but a little more confidence that maybe it’s going to be staying east of North Carolina."

If Cristobal stays in that path, it will have minimal impacts on North Carolina. Higher surf and rip currents are possible.

"There is a small chance of tropical storm force winds – 10 or 20 percent – over eastern North Carolina," Moss said. "All of that should be dying down by the holiday weekend if it stays within this forecast fan."

Cristobal strengthened from a tropical depression Sunday morning and dumped heavy rains on parts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Cristobal originally formed as depression over the Turks and Caicos Islands on Saturday. It was the fourth depression of the Atlantic hurricane season.