First tropical storm of the 2023 Hurricane Season spins up in Gulf of Mexico

ATLANTIC OCEAN — Meet Arlene, she’s a bit of a whirlwind but she loves beaches and having fun in the rain.

She’s also a tropical storm. The National Hurricane Center on Friday said that “Tropical Depression Two” had been upgraded, and we now have our first named storm of the 2023 hurricane season.

Tropical Storm Arlene had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour as of 1:30 p.m. Friday. It was also moving south at about 5 miles per hour, with a track that has it on a path to the western portion of Cuba.

The last time a storm was named Arlene was in 2017, and the storm was actually overpowered by another weather system, according to NASA.

The 2023 hurricane names are: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harold, Idalia, Jose, Katia, Lee, Margot, Nigel, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney, according to the Associated Press.

Forecasters are predicting a “near-normal” hurricane season, but the NHC’s director, Mike Brennan, said, “there’s nothing good about a near-normal hurricane season in terms of activity.”

(WATCH: The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season is now underway. Here’s what to know.)