MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tropical Storm Paulette is strengthening as it moves over the central tropical Atlantic.

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, the center of the system was 1,295 miles east of the Leeward Islands.

Paulette was moving toward the northwest near 6 mph. A turn toward the west-northwest or west with a slight increase in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days.

The storm’s sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph with higher gusts.

Moderate additional strengthening is possible throughout the day and Paulette could be near hurricane strength by Tuesday night. Gradual weakening is expected by late Wednesday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from the center.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

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