Tropical Storm Joaquin forms

Tropical Storm Joaquin formed in the Atlantic Ocean late Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm, which had been designated Tropical Depression 11, formed late Sunday north of the Bahamas. Tropical Storm Joaquin had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph Monday night, enough to upgrade it to tropical storm status.

The storm is expected to become a stronger tropical storm as it moves northward, sliding between the east coast of Florida and Bermuda by midweek.

The National Hurricane Center official forecast indicates the storm could be as far west as the Outer Banks Friday. The forecast cone, commonly referred to as the "cone of uncertainty," also includes the potential for the storm to remain out at sea hundreds of miles off the coast.

By Saturday, the forecast cone again includes the possibility the storm could impact portions of the Northeast coast, including New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. However, the forecast also includes the potential the storm will remain out at sea.

The certainty in the forecast will increase over the next few days. One of the key determinations in the forecast will be as soon it turns northward. It is currently traveling westward.