Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tropical Storm Kate is expected to become a hurricane by Tuesday night as it races to the northeast.

READ MORE: Wong Leads Brewers To 7-3 Win Over The Marlins

At 4 p.m. the center of the system was about 260 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Kate is moving toward the northeast near 30 mph with a turn toward the east-northeast. An increase in forward speed is expected by Tuesday night. This fast east-northeastward motion is expected to continue through Wednesday night.

(Source: CBS4)

(Source: CBS4)

READ MORE: Varieties Of Starburst, Skittles & Life Savers Gummies Recalled

The storm’s maximum sustained winds have remained at 70 mph with some higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center.

Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Kate is expected to become a hurricane by nightfall.

Kate is forecast to lose tropical characteristics Wednesday night or Thursday, but remain a powerful cyclone through that time.

MORE NEWS: Rickenbacker Causeway Shut Down After Vehicle Hits & Kills 2 Cyclists

On the forecast track, the center of Kate is expected to remain well offshore of the east coast of the United States and pass north of Bermuda Tuesday night and early Wednesday.