Tropical Storm Richard has formed in the Northwest Carribean Sea mid-morning Thursday. This storm is expected to intensify quickly into a Category 1 Hurricane as it moves towards the tip of the Yucutan Penninsula. Where it goes from there is where it gets interesting. In our last very active season of 2005, Hurricane Wilma developed in October and took nearly an identical track as Richard’s models are painting. The waters of the southern Gulf are still warm enough to support a significant hurricane, as long as it can organize early enough.

We tend to see a lot of late season storms head towards the Florida Peninsula, especially from the west side, because late season storms tend to develop closer to home in the Carribean than early season Atlantic storms, and be held to the south and move east due to Fall cold fronts pushing down from the Southern United States.

With whatever this storm does, it needs to be watched very closely, especially from Tampa to Ft. Myers by late next week. The system is for right now not a threat to the northern gulf, but may provide available moisture to help promote a second series of rain showers for us by late next week. We shall wait and see…..