Hurricane Joaquin is now a Cat 3 storm and forecasters feel that some further strengthening will occur with this late season storm. Joaquin is packing 120 mph winds and is currently located over the central Bahamas.

Because Joaqiun is an extremely slow moving storm, areas in the path of the storm can expect long periods of those sustained winds with hurricane lasting for up to 48 hours. The storm is expected to track in a northerly direction over the next couple of days as well.

While the likelihood of the storm causing any activity along the east coast of the us has been downgraded, localities along the coast there are being encouraged to monitor the storm closely. Two of the most reliable computer models have backed off a bit on the potential for a direct strike to the US but with a close enough track that any slight deviation could result in major shifts in the forecast.

The National Hurricane Center will consider issuing a hurricane watch for portions of the U.S east coast as early as tonight if conditions warrant. As far as our area is concerned, forecasters say that Joaquin will pose no threat to the Gulf of Mexico.