A potent tropical system is churning in the Caribbean on Friday, poised to strengthen significantly as it tracks north toward the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasts show the system intensifying into a category 3 as it approaches Florida next week, where it could become the first major hurricane for the state since 2018.

The system, Tropical Depression Nine, formed early Friday morning over the central Caribbean Sea and is likely to become the season's next named storm, according to the National Hurricane Center. It could be given the name Hermine or Ian, depending on when it strengthens to tropical storm status.

CNN meteorologists Allison Chinchar, Judson Jones and Jennifer Gray contributed to this report.

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