As of 8 p.m. Thursday, the storm was located on the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It will be moving into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico overnight into Friday.
Being over the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico will allow it to strengthen, however the upper-atmospheric winds are strong in this region, which will hinder strengthening.
That said, being able to tap into the energy stored in the warm Gulf water should prove enough to bring it to tropical storm strength by Friday afternoon, and could become Tropical Storm Alex, the first tropical storm of the 2022 season. It is projected to stay a weak tropical storm thereafter.
Tropical storm watches are in effect for Western Cuba, South Florida and the Bahamas
The biggest impact from this system will be heavy rain. In South Florida, widespread four to eight inch rainfall accumulation is likely, with isolated higher amounts of up to a foot are possible.
Florida will feel the impacts Friday and Saturday before the storm exits into the open Atlantic on Sunday.