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Hurricane Chris sending risky surf ashore as it swirls off East Coast

Hurricane Chris on July 11, 2018.

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Last Updated Jul 11, 2018 11:50 PM EDT

MIAMI -- Atlantic Ocean beachgoers should be wary of heavy surf and life-threatening rip-currents this week as Hurricane Chris swirls off the U.S. East Coast, say forecasters.   

As of 11 p.m. ET Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said Chris was accelerating as it moved toward Newfoundland. 
The center of Chris is expected pass over or near extreme southeastern Newfoundland Thursday evening.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, and was located about 345 miles off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

No coastal watches or warnings were in effect. 

Chris strengthened from a tropical storm into a hurricane on Tuesday. It became the second named hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season, marking the earliest formation of a season's second hurricane since 2005, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

Forecasters expect Chris to weaken to a strong post-tropical cyclone on Thursday.