BRIDGETOWN – The third tropical storm of the season formed off Antigua overnight and could affect the Northern Leeward Islands within the next 24 hours, the United States National Hurricane Centre said Tuesday.

At 8.00 a.m. Eastern Caribbean Time, Tropical Storm Chris was located 135 miles east of Antigua.

The islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St.
Eustatius, St. Barthelemy, and St. Maarten were placed on tropical storm warning for the next 24 hours, the NHC said in a provisional advisory.

Chris was moving toward the west-northwest at 15 kilometres an hour or 9 miles an hour. On this track, the cyclone could be near the northernmost Leeward Islands later tonight or early Wednesday morning, forecasters said.

The NHC estimated storm-force winds of 65 kilometres an hour or 40 miles an hour.

A United States Air Force reconnaissance aircraft was scheduled to investigate the cyclone late Tuesday to provide a more accurate estimate of its strength and location.