As Isaac menaced Haiti Saturday morning, the National Weather Service put the Tampa Bay area under a tropical storm watch that extends from Lee County to Pinellas County.
A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area within 48 hours. The tropical storm watch is from Bonita Beach in Lee County to Tarpon Springs in north Pinellas County.
The following counties are under a tropical storm watch:
A tropical storm watch also was issued for Florida's east coast north of Sebastian Inlet to Flagler Beach.
Isaac is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane Sunday and muscle its way over the Florida Keys, which is under a hurricane watch that extends up the southern Florida peninsula to Palm Beach County.
The storm will churn through the Gulf of Mexico to threaten the Tampa coastline on Monday. If Isaac stays on its projected course, its arrival in the Tampa Bay area will coincide with the start of the Republican National Convention.
The city is preparing for a flood of 50,000 visitors, from media to delegates, for the GOP nomination of Mitt Romney for president.
Isaac is not yet a hurricane, but is already a deadly storm. Three people are reported dead near Port-au-Prince in Haiti, with flooding a major problem.
The storm is expected to crawl by eastern Cuba today and possibly travel over central Cuba tonight. Isaac then will set it sights on Florida and is forecast to travel near or over the Keys and southern peninsula Sunday or Sunday night.
Stay tuned to Patch for details.