We could see eventual classic early season tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico....
A stretched out area of low pressure -- trough of low pressure -- persists from the N. Caribbean/S. Gulf of Mexico across Cuba, the Southern Bahamas & into the Central Atlantic. There is virtually no indication of organization save a persistent cluster of convection/t'storms that seems to have emerged over & near the Yucatan Channel. This would be on the west end of the surface trough which is where one would typically scrutinize for potential development. Any tropical development would be slow -- especially over the next several days. I would anticipate seeing t'storms wax & wane through Sat. with weak low pressure possibly evolving by Sat. or so. Shear is pretty significant but water temps. are in the 80s in the area of concern. The shear will gradually relax & -- depending on how things go -- it appears conditions for tropical development will be more favorable by early next week. These type of systems -- early in the season on the tail end of a surface trough -- typically take their sweet time developing. Once formed -- if all conditions are right -- these tropical cyclones can become significant.
As for the track....this is a major "bug-a-boo" which is not surprising since no surface system has actually developed yet. Much will depend on how quickly the system develops (or doesn't) & the evolution of an omega block over the continental U.S. (upper trough W. U.S., upper ridge Central U.S., upper trough Eastern U.S.). The GFS model seems to be having it troubles with consistency & may also be suffering from convective feedback. This model generally doesn't develop a significant surface system but rather has a series of weak low pressures. If you use the ensemble (several runs together), the model actually isn't terribly far from the European model which take a surface system into the Central Gulf but is noticeably slower. Also noticeable.....a stronger system early next week moving into the Northeast Gulf.
So.....no problem for the First Coast through the weekend even if the GFS verifies. Heavy rain will continue across S. Fl. If the slow-to-develop system does hold over the Gulf, then there will be a potential concern next week.
In the meantime, occasional heavy rain & rough surf will affect the N.Caribbean, S. Fl. & Bahamas for at least the next several days.Tropical storm "Chris"
continues in the N. Atlantic & still -- on satellite -- looks about as strong as it has ever been despite being over cool ocean temps. in the 70s. "Chris" will make a sharp turn the north then west as it becomes involved with a large trough/low pressure system over the open N. Atlantic far from the U.S.