CAT 3 hurricane on track for New Orleans. Dangerous storm surge of 10 to 14 feet above normal predicted.

At 0600 hrs GMT, the centre of Hurricane Gustav was at Latitude 27.8N Longitude 88.8W, that is about 170 miles south-southeast of New Orleans. It is moving northwest at 16mph, the US National Hurricane Center said.

Therefore the centre of Gustav is expected reach New Orleans later today.

Maximum sustained winds are at 115mph, making Gustav a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Some strenthening is forecast prior to landfall. Hurricane force winds extend outwards up to 70 miles from the centre, and tropical storm force winds up to 220 miles.

A extremely dangerous storm surge of 10 to 14 feet above normal tidal levels is expected in New Orleans.