The last six tropical storms to develop in the Atlantic Basin haven't made it through the so-called El Niño barrier in the Caribbean. This is where upper level winds have been too strong to support upscale development or even passage of a storm. Two have tried (Danny, Erika), but the others haven't even come close (Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida). As stated in yesterday's State of the Season update, what happens in the Atlantic is not really a concern anymore this year. Possible storm formation in the Gulf of Mexico, however, is worth keeping an eye out for.
The National Hurricane Center has identified a disturbance in Central America that could spawn an area of low pressure near the Yucatan Peninsula early next week. For many days and several runs in a row, forecast models have hinted at the idea and even projected the system could gain tropical characteristics when it drifts north into the Gulf of Mexico next week. Despite the multiple factors that are unfavorable for development in the coming days (land interaction and wind shear being the top two), the environment is expected to be slightly more favorable should it move into the very warm waters of the Gulf. Speculation on where it might go or how strong it could become would be lacking forecast credibility at this point. Regardless of these details, an increase in tropical moisture is likely across the peninsula by the middle of next week that could translate into higher rain chances statewide.
The Florida Public Radio Emergency Network will continue to monitor forecast trends with this possible development. Now is a good time to review your storm preparation checklist in case you have some outstanding items that weren't completed when Erika had us all a bit concerned last month. There's also a new mobile app, Florida Storms, that can help you stay informed. Look for it in the iOS store now; it will be in the Google Play store by the weekend.