Tropical storm force winds were extending outward up to 70 miles, the center said.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday that the storm has barely moved since Saturday.
Chris is now formed off the coast of North Carolina, and as the system moves east it could become a hurricane before the end of the day. Tropical storms can have winds reaching 73 miles per hour.
A disorganized Tropical Storm Beryl was closing in on the chain of islands that form the outer perimeter of the Caribbean, where it was expected to bring tropical storm conditions to the islands of Guadeloupe and Dominica on Sunday night.
Though Tropical Storm Chris is likely to become better organized and turn into a hurricane by Monday afternoon, it should not affect the Triangle. The storm remains in an environment conducive for gradual strengthening as it is centered over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. Lourdes De Jesus, who traveled from West Springfield, Massachusetts, to help fix her mother's house in southeast Yabucoa, said the roof consists of tarp and recycled zinc and leaks even during a light storm.
While the storm was not expected to make landfall as of Sunday afternoon, it will bring "life threatening" rough surf and unsafe rip currents along the East Coast, the weather service said.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Beryl - the second named storm of this season - is expected to dump heavy rain over the Lesser Antilles at the end of the weekend. "Gradual weakening is anticipated during the next 36 hours, and Beryl is forecast to degenerate into a trough of low pressure as it moves across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea by Monday".
A Category 1 hurricane has wind speeds from 74 miles per hour to 95 miles per hour, according to the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHS).
Chris was upgraded from a tropical depression to a tropical storm on Sunday.
The DDM said a high wind advisory is in effect.