The system in the Caribbean is a tropical wave that is producing a large area of cloudiness and thunderstorms extending from Hispanola northeastward across the Caribbean and adjacent Atlantic waters.
The system had maximum sustained winds of 30 miles per hour and was moving west at 12 miles per hour.
After Florence, the next name on the 2018 storm list is Gordon. While one forecast model (European model) was originally more aggressive in developing a potential tropical storm, it has now pulled back and is now suggesting something much weaker.
Sea surface temps in the Gulf are near 90 degrees in spots.
"The total amount of heat energy in the Gulf right now is at near-record levels for this time of year - similar to last year's levels, and much higher than observed during the bad hurricane season of 2005", Masters wrote in his Cat 6 blog.
"Last year was all about September", said CSU lead hurricane forecaster Phil Klotzbach.
It's been raining a good deal across Florida - surprise, summertime! - and it's about to become even wetter.
Helping push the wave into South Florida is a strong clockwise-spinning Bermuda High.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially began on June 1, and it seemed that it would be an extra active season since Subtropical Storm Alberto formed in late May (a full week and a half before the official start of the season). When it becomes a named storm, its name will be Florence.
"The deeper the system gets, the more likely it will be drawn into that stronger high over the Azores", Kottlowski said.
Friday's forecast will be muggy, with some afternoon storms. The odds are low because this system is dealing with some strong wind shear, which are winds that either increase with speed or change direction with height, which has kept this system from becoming better organized.
But there is plenty of Atlantic Hurricane Season left, which does not come to an end until November 30.