(Reuters) - Hurricane Joaquin has strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Wednesday.
Joaquin, the third hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic season, was about 170 miles (275 km) east of the Central Bahamas, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph), the NHC said.
"A turn toward the northwest and north is forecast Thursday night or Friday" the Miami-based weather forecaster added.
A major hurricane is classified as a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 111 miles per hour (96 knots) or higher, corresponding to a Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, according to the NHC website.
(Reporting by Kevin Jose in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)