Hurricane Joaquin strengthens to a Category 3 - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hurricane Joaquin strengthens to a Category 3

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Hurricane Joaquin's track as of 11 p.m. on Wednesday. (nhc.noaa.gov photo) Hurricane Joaquin's track as of 11 p.m. on Wednesday. (nhc.noaa.gov photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Hurricane Joaquin strengthened to a Category 3 in the Atlantic and meteorologists are keeping an eye on its potential impact on Connecticut.

The National Hurricane Center posted an updated cone map at 8 p.m. on Wednesday that had the state possibly seeing wind and rain from the storm toward the end of the weekend and Monday.

"There are so many possibilities with Joaquin. First off all, the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center has Joaquin becoming a category 3 hurricane since conditions are quite favorable for development over the next few days," said Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest.

The hurricane became a Category 3 on Wednesday night.

The latest run of the European Model has the storm moving out to sea well off the east coast, while the GFS has Joaquin getting absorbed by a developing cut-off low in the Southeastern States while a ridge of high pressure builds in the Western Atlantic."

This would force the storm to take a left hand turn toward the east coast.

The GFS has the storm slamming into North Carolina Saturday night and Sunday morning.

"Several forecast guidance models are forecasting a similar scenario. Given the uncertainties, we are not sure what impact Joaquin will have on CT, if any," DePrest said.

No alerts were in place Wednesday as the hurricane’s track was by no means certain. It’s still four to five days away from possibly impacting the state.

On Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Dannel Malloy said the state will be monitoring the forecast for Hurricane Joaquin, and advises residents to be prepared.

“We are monitoring the storm closely, and our state emergency management officials have been in regular contact with the national weather service.  While there are many variables with this storm, we are paying close attention to its track,” Malloy said in a press release.

"Just as the state and its agencies are monitoring the weather and preparing appropriately, residents should do the same and closely watch forecasts over the next few days," Malloy added.

He said the state's Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection is prepared to coordinate any possible state response. Officials are also participating in ongoing conference calls with the National Weather Service.

Central Bahamas areas under a hurricane warning Wednesday morning included Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, and San Salvador.

For more on the storm, check out the NHC's website here.

Joaquin is the 10th named storm of the season. It formed off of the Atlantic coast on Monday.

The last two major storms to impact Connecticut were Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 and storm Sandy in 2012.

Hurricane season for the U.S. officially ends on Nov. 30.

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