Gov. DeSantis orders storm preparations as forecasters watch for possible system to develop in Gulf

Gov. Ron DeSantis directed the state Division of Emergency Management to prepare for a storm that could affect Florida next week. 

"Residents should remain vigilant and prepare for possible impacts early next week," DeSantis said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. 

The National Hurricane Center on Friday was tracking the weather disturbance over the northwestern Caribbean Sea. The system was producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms, but it is expected to gradually develop in the coming days as it moves into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. 

"Environmentalconditions appear conducive for further development during the next several days, and a tropical depression is likely to form late this weekend or early next week while it moves generally northward over the eastern Gulf of Mexico," the NHC said.

The NHC’s seven-day outlook indicated the system, with an 80 percent chance of formation into a named storm, could go anywhere from Florida’s west coast to the Panhandle.

If it strengthens into a named storm, it would be Idalia.