MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tropical Storm Isaac has finally strengthened as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico and forecasters believe it will soon become a hurricane.

At 11 p.m., the center of the storm was located about 255 miles south-southeast of Mobile, Alabama or 190 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds have increased to 70 mph with some higher gusts and it was moving to the northwest at 10 mph.

A HURRICANE WARNING remains in effect for New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

A HURRICANE WATCH is in effect for Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING is in effect from the Florida-Alabama border to Destin, Florida; from east of Destin, Florida to the Aucilla River; and from Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH is in effect from east of the Sabine Pass to west of Intracoastal City, Louisiana.

Isaac is forecast to continue moving toward the northwest with a decrease in forward speed. On Tuesday, it is expected to take a gradual turn toward the northwest.

On its current track, the center of Isaac will approach the northern Gulf Coast in the Hurricane Warning area on Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center reports the Florida Panhandle could see a storm surge of three to six feet. Alabama could see a storm surge of six to nine feet, while coastal southeast Louisiana and Mississippi could see a storm surge of six to 12 feet.

CBSMiami Tropics Update | Tropics Tracker | Hurricane News

Openings and closings for MIAMI DADE | BROWARD | KEYS/MONROE

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