New Orleans Tropical Storm Edouard churned west in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday night and was expected to strengthen to a near-hurricane before making landfall somewhere in Texas on Tuesday.
The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for the coasts of western Louisiana and eastern Texas late Sunday, meaning hurricane conditions were possible the next 24 hours from Intracoastal City to Port O'Connor, Texas.
Edouard, packing 50-mph maximum sustained winds, is the fifth tropical storm of the 2008 hurricane season. At 10 p.m. CDT Sunday, its center was located about 80 miles east-southeast off the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 390 miles east of Galveston, Texas.
It was moving west at 5 mph and was expected to strengthen before making landfall Tuesday morning in Texas. Forecasters said the warm waters of the Gulf provided the right conditions for the storm to intensify and approach hurricane strength with winds of 75 mph or more.