Tropical Storm Joaquin could become a hurricane Wednesday and track up the East Coast the next few days, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday.

The strengthening storm could affect the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast by the weekend or early next week. The storm, currently with winds of 65 mph, would become a hurricane at 74 mph.

Computer models used by meteorologists to predict weather show a wide variation of possible paths for the storm, including the prospect of a direct hit somewhere on the East Coast or a turn out to sea.

Ahead of Joaquin (wah-KEEN), rain from other weather systems will soak much of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Appalachians Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Flash flood watches are posted all the way from western North Carolina up to southern Maine, a distance of about 1,000 miles, the National Weather Service said.

“Areas from central Pennsylvania into northern New England could see over 3 inches of rain, mainly over the higher terrain,” AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rathbun said.

“The dry spell and local drought conditions will be washed away by heavy rain and flooding,” AccuWeather chief meteorologist Elliot Abrams said.

Heavy rain Tuesday caused flash floods in portions of Virginia and North Carolina.

On Tuesday evening, Joaquin had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and was several hundred miles east of the Bahamas, according to the hurricane center.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Marty in the eastern Pacific Ocean was about 120 miles from Acapulco. Rains from Marty could lead to flash floods and mudslides in Mexico, the hurricane center said.