Andrea, the first named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane season, strengthened overnight and is forecast to make landfall along Florida's Big Bend area later today.
The National Hurricane Center has issued tropical storm warnings for a wide swath of the western coast of Florida. The system is forecast to move northeast along the eastern seaboard over the next couple of days, so the center has issued storm warnings from Georgia to Virginia.
Forecasters say a hurricane watch has been extended to include the New Orleans metro area as Tropical Storm Isaac makes its way toward the Florida Keys.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday morning that the watch area now stretches from east of Morgan City, La., to the Florida Panhandle.
Forecasters have said that Isaac could be a dangerous Category 2 hurricane by the time it makes landfall over the northern Gulf Coast. That is expected to happen sometime late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
MIAMI — Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches the state.
Scott said the goal was to make sure every local, state and federal agency "has the exact same information" on the storm and preparations in order to make informed decisions. He issued the state of emergency Saturday during a media briefing in Broward County.
Tropical Storm Isaac strengthened slightly as it spun toward the Dominican Republic and vulnerable Haiti on Friday, threatening to bring punishing rains but unlikely to gain enough steam to strike as a hurricane.
Forecasters now expect the storm to stay below hurricane force until it's in the Gulf of Mexico. It's expected to stay to the west of Tampa, Fla., where the Republican National Convention starts on Monday, though there is still an outside chance it could hit there.
The National Weather Service has discontinued a tropical storm warning for Louisiana after forecast models indicated that the state is under less of a threat from Tropical Storm Debby than initially thought.
Parts of Alabama and Florida remain under a tropical storm warning, however. Storm paths are generally hard to predict days in advance, and forecasters say they've been comparing several models to compile the official forecast. As of late Sunday, though, they believe the storm was less likely to make a westward turn toward Louisiana.
Forecasters dropped storm warnings for southeastern Louisiana Sunday afternoon and said the threat from Tropical Storm Debby had decreased.
National Hurricane Center forecasters backed away from an earlier projection that Debby might strike southeast Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane. Instead they said they didn't expect it to turn west from its northward path that has it aimed at Florida and Alabama.