Tropical Storm Isaac will become a Hurricane early Monday morning or during the day Monday and will likely strengthen steadily over the course of it's Gulf of Mexico track. An upper level anti-cyclone and weak trough over the central plains of the US will provide a very favorable upper level environment for Isaac. Low shear and increased outflow channels to the north with allow Issac to strengthen steadily. Tropical Cyclone heat potential is not as high as in previous years such as 2005 when we saw Katrina ramp up to a Category 5 hurricane over the central gulf. However, ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico continue to be warm and favorable for strengthening.
The track will continue to the WNW and NW generally towards Louisiana. How close this comes to New Orleans could be extremely important for this area with regards to storm surge. If Isaac were to track up the Mississippi Delta, a very strong storm surge would likely to inundate eastern Louisiana into New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. Everyone from Houston all the way to Mobile should closely monitor Isaac.