A year ago, Irma had rapidly intensified from a tropical storm to a Category 3 hurricane way out in the far eastern Atlantic.
There are also some signs that a tropical wave east of the Windward Islands could develop into a depression or storm near Florida early next week. The depression is maintaining 35 miles per hour winds just south of the Cabo Verde island chain.
Finally, while the tropical wave now over the Lesser Antilles is showing some increase in shower and thundershower activity, immediate tropical development is extremely unlikely due to high levels of wind shear. On average, the sixth named storm forms on September 6.
By Friday evening, Potential Tropical Cyclone Six is expected to continue strengthening into a Tropical Storm, which at this point would then become the sixth named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season and be given the name Florence. The system is expected to encounter more wind shear as it moves further into the Atlantic, and it should remain a tropical storm for at least the next few days. Once it reaches the Gulf of Mexico, conditions for intensification could improve. The hurricane center gave the disturbance a 10 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone during the next five days as it moves into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Atlantic hurricane season runs through November 30.
Of more concern to National Weather Service meteorologists in Miami is a tropical wave near Puerto Rico that could bring heavy rain this weekend to areas from the Treasure Coast to the Keys. The Accumulated Cyclone Energy - a measure of the strength and longevity of a storm - is 17.5 this season when the normal is 28.7.
After Florence, the next two names on this year's list of storms are Gordon and Helene.