Tropical Storm Chris forms near the Leeward Islands

Published 6:17 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Tropical Storm Chris, the third named storm of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, developed early Tuesday near the Leeward Islands, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said.

A tropical storm warning was posted for the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin.

A tropical storm watch was issued for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

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At 5 a.m., Chris was centered about 175 miles east of Antigua and was moving west-northwest near 9 mph, forecasters said. Its maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph, just above the threshold for a tropical storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm was on track to pass over or near the northernmost Leeward Islands by early Wednesday, according to the hurricane center. The area where the warning was issued was in the open Atlantic about 1,100 miles southeast of Miami.

The first named storm of the 2006 season, Tropical Storm Alberto, swept over Florida in mid-June, then plowed northward along the coast past the Outer Banks. It was blamed for one drowning.

Massachusetts was spared the worst of Tropical Storm Beryl at the end of June when the storm left high surfs but minimal damage before heading toward Nova Scotia. The bulk of the rain fell over the ocean well east of the island.