CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The first tropical storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday – only the second day of the season.

Data from Air Force Hurricane Hunters show that Tropical Depression 2 strengthened into Tropical Storm Arlene with 40 mph winds.

The upgrade comes hours after the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said it did not expect the story to further strengthen as it treks southward toward Cuba. But the official forecast shows Arlene weakening Friday night and degenerating into a remnant low on Saturday.

In their 2pm advisory, NHC forecasters said the center of Tropical Storm Arlene was located about 265 miles west of Fort Myers and 340 miles north-northwest from the western tip of Cuba. It was moving south at 5 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

While the storm is expected to stay offshore, central and southern Florida will see rain and some localized flooding through portions of the weekend.