A few weeks ago, a self-proclaimed “time-traveling psychic” on a platform I am not online enough to be part of declared that Florida would be hit by a “Category 6” hurricane in September. As social media views are inversely proportional to factuality, this video was seen approximately 11 billion times.
Despite the invisible upvote of The Great and Powerful Algorithm, the tropical threat Florida faces next week will not be a “Category 6” hurricane, because such a thing does not exist. However, it is increasingly likely that the state will face widespread rain, coastal flooding, and wind impacts from a tropical system crossing the eastern Gulf of Mexico between Monday and Wednesday.
Here’s what we can say with some confidence today: first, the offending disturbance isn’t much to look at right now, so nothing will happen immediately. As of mid-day Friday, our area of interest is a diffuse region of cyclonic turning in the northwestern Caribbean Sea, punctuated by scattered, disorganized thunderstorm activity. This rotation and convection will slowly coalesce near or over the Yucatan peninsula and move little through Monday.