Isaac is still a tropical storm, but it is now out over the open waters of the Florida Straits as it approaches the southern Florida Keys. This will begin the intensification phase for Isaac as it should reach hurricane status within 24 hours on its way to the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Isaac should then continue on a track towards the central Gulf coast (i.e. Louisiana/Mississippi/Alabama) by Tuesday/Wednesday and this includes the possibility of heading right towards the New Orleans metro region. Also, there is a chance that Isaac will intensify into major hurricane status (ie category 3 or higher) as it approaches the central Gulf coast later this week. There has not been a major hurricane hit on the US mainland since Wilma in October 2005.