HOUSTON -

Tropical Storm Isaac began moving into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

In the National Hurricane Center's 7 p.m. advisory Sunday, Isaac's winds were at 65 mph with higher gusts. The storm was moving west-northwest at 15 mph and was about 60 miles southwest of Key West.

Isaac is forecast to decrease its forward speed and turn to the northwest over the next 48 hours. It's expected to approach the northern Gulf coast on Tuesday. Some strengthening is forecast, and Isaac could become a hurricane in a day or two.

  • A hurricane warning is in effect for:
    -Northern Gulf of Mexico coast from east of Morgan City, Louisiana, to Destin, Florida, including metro New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas
  • A hurricane watch is in effect for:
    -East of Destin, Florida, to Indian Pass, Florida
  • Tropical storm warnings are in effect for:
    -Florida Keys, including the Dry Tortugas

    -The Florida peninsula Sebastian Inlet southward to the east coast and from Anclote Key southward on the west coast

    -Lake Okeechobee

The Republican National Convention, being held in Tampa, Fla., has canceled the program's first day due to the storm, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Saturday.

The convention will convene on Tuesday and then immediately recess until the following afternoon.

The storm path is largely dictated by the wind flow around the perimeter of the large dome of high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean, known as the Bermuda-Azores High. The clockwise flow around this high pressure system acts as a steering current for the storm, much like river currents steer a raft floating downstream. The current thought is that the northward curve in this steering current is what will take Isaac near Cuba and into the eastern Gulf over the next few days.

Isaac is expected to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane within the next 36 hours, especially as it moves over the warm eastern Gulf waters.

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