Edouard expected to strengthen to hurricane strength before striking upper Texas coast

The US National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm warning, from the mouth of the Mississippi river westwards to Cameron, Louisiana. It has also issued a hurricane watch from west of intracoastal city Louisiana to Port O'Connor, Texas.

The region is a major oil and gas producing area. Offshore oil production and Gulf Coast refineries could be threatened by the storm.

The centre of Tropical Storm Edouard is near Latitude 28.1 N Longitude 89.6 W, or about 75 miles (120km) south-southweat of the mouth of the Mississippi river, and about 325 miles (525km) east-southeast of Galveston, Texas.

Edouard is moving westwards at 9mph (15kmph). Forecasters expect it to turn to the west-northwest today. By Tuesday morning the centre of Edouard is expected to be near the upper Texas coast or the coast of southweatern Louisiana.

Max sustained winds are 50mph (85kmph). Forecasters expect an increase in strength.

"Edouard could be nearing hurricane strength before reaching the coastline," warned the US National Hurricane Center.

Tropical Storm Force winds extend outwards up to 35mikes from the centre. A storm surge of 2ft to 4ft above normal is expected.

At 9:00 GMT, Tropical Storm Risk issued the following predictions. It said that Edouard is forecast to strike land at the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s): the United States: probability for Tropical Storm is 40% within 9 hours; Houston: probability for Tropical Storm is 40% in about 33 hours; Galveston (29.4 N, 94.8 W) probability for Tropical Storm is 40% in about 33 hours.