Tropical Storm Isaac is predicted to continue on its path north-northwest and hit the southern area of Florida on Sunday, before making its way to make landfall in the Alabama and Mississippi border areas.
The storm is set to increase in strength significantly over the coming days and could reach hurricane strength some time early to mid next week. Earlier predictions had suggested the storm could become a category 1, but latest predictions have said a category 2 or even a category 3 could result.
Isaac hit Haiti on Friday and caused significant flooding in the region still recovering from a devastating earthquake. Flood waters at waist height were reported in some areas and widespread damage has been caused, with at least two deaths reported as a result of the storm hitting the area.
Storm experts are saying that Isaac is only just getting started and is expected to increase in strength significantly in the coming days. The longer it stays over water the stronger it is likely to become before hitting the United States coastal regions in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.
The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch and tropical storm warnings at 11 p.m. Friday night for all of the Florida Keys, including Florida Bay and the coast of the Southern Florida Peninsula from Ocean Reef on the East Coast Westward to Bonita Beach on the west coast. The watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the next 24 to 36 hours.
The Republican National Convention is scheduled to be held on Monday in Tampa, Florida. However, it is becoming increasingly likely that Isaac could cause significant problems for the region. The center of the storm may not pass directly over Florida though, and the region will most likely be troubled by extensive flooding in various parts.
If its current path holds steady then Isaac is forecast to approach the Florida Keys on Sunday, before moving on to Alabama and Mississippi.
Early to mid next week Isaac is predicted to pick up to hurricane strength with winds between 80 to 100 mph currently expected.