(Recasts with storm becoming hurricane; adds details on path)
July 10 (Reuters) - Chris, a storm churning off the coast of the Mid-Atlantic states, strengthened to become a hurricane on Tuesday and was not expected to make landfall over the United States, the National Hurricane Center said.
Chris was packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph) and was about 205 miles (330 km) east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The storm was expected to strengthen through Wednesday and then lose force from Thursday, the center said.
Storm swells generated by Chris will be hitting North Carolina and other mid-Atlantic states over the next few days. "These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions," the center added.
Chris was expected to remain well off the U.S. coast. Latest projections show it is forecast to pass well southeast of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia in a couple of days, then move near or over southeastern Newfoundland by Friday, the hurricane center said.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned beachgoers on Monday to beware of dangerous rip currents after an unidentified man in his mid-60s drowned just north of Nags Head when he was caught in a rough surf current caused by the storm.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas Editing by Leslie Adler)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.