The tropical storm force winds are on the east end of the storm.
The National Hurricane Center made the intensity upgrade in the what was once a tropical depression official at 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
NHC advised that the Cayman Islands, western and central Cuba, northern Bahamas, South Florida and the Florida Keys could face tropical storm conditions.
Tropical Storm Watches are in effect, as the brunt of the storm will stay off shore.
This morning forecasters do not think a flood watch will be issued, but that could change if the storm slows down. On the forecast track, the center of Selma will approach the coast of El Salvador on Saturday.Maximum sustained winds are near 40 miles per hour (65 km/h) with higher gusts. It is expected to intensify some and become Tropical Storm Philippe by tonight, the hurricane center said.
Eighteen could bring 2 to 4 inches of rain to South Florida over the course of the weekend.
The storm is expected to continue to move northeast and pass well off the North Carolina coast.
With the current forecast track, Southwest Florida will remain on the west side of the storm and avoid the strongest winds and severe weather associated with Philippe.
South Florida, including the Florida Keys, is slated to get two to four inches of rainfall with a maximum total of six inches into Sunday.