A news release from the National Hurricane Center in Miami says a reconnaissance aircraft spotted a well-defined area of circulation over the central Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday afternoon.
As of 5 p.m., the storm was located 390 southwest of Orlando and was moving north at 3 mph with winds up to 45 mph.
Tropical Storm watches were issued in Flagler County on Wednesday and flood watches have been issued by the National Weather Service throughout Central Florida.
The first named storm of the Atlantic season, which started on June 1, will continue to bring rain -- and the possibility of severe weather -- to the region. The highest threat of strong storms, flooding rains and possible tornadoes is late Wednesday into Thursday.