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Tropical Storm Lisa Nears Hurricane Strength, Heading to Belize

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A hurricane by the name of Lisa is brewing in the western Caribbean Sea, and it’s likely headed for a landfall Wednesday afternoon. Tropical Storm Lisa hasn’t been upgraded into a hurricane just yet, but her sustained winds have whipped up to 70 mph, just shy of a Category 1 hurricane.

Lisa could become a hurricane before daylight, which means it has upgraded into a Category 1 storm by the 2 a.m. or 5 a.m. advisory reports, according to the National Hurricane Center. A storm becomes a hurricane once it has sustained winds of 74 mph.

Lisa is expected to strengthen into a hurricane by Wednesday morning and then slam into Belize’s Caribbean shores on Wednesday evening.

Tropical Storm Lisa
Tourists visit the boardwalk in Belize City before the arrival of Tropical Storm Lisa on November 1, 2022. North Central America is on alert Tuesday to the advance of Tropical Storm Lisa through the Caribbean, which threatens to become a hurricane in the next few hours in northern Honduras on its way to Belize. Photo by JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP via Getty Images

There’s not just the usual threat of high winds and heavy rains along the Central American coasts, there’s a strong expectancy of a big storm surge from the Caribbean.

“There is a potential for a life-threatening storm surge where Lisa crosses the coast of Belize and extreme southern portions of the Yucatan peninsula starting Wednesday afternoon,” the NHC stated on its website.”Hurricane conditions are expected in the Bay Islands of Honduras early Wednesday.”

After making landfall in Belize, Lisa is expected to dump rain in Guatemala and southern Mexico before making a northern turn into the Gulf of Mexico, where there’s no path of certainty as of Tuesday night.

The National Hurricane Center on November classified another storm as a tropical cyclone. Tropical Storm Martin was named Tuesday morning. By Tuesday night, Martin had sustained winds of 65 mph. It has a peculiar November path trekking north into the Atlantic Ocean, where it’s projected to strengthen as it veers north and east toward Greenland. There’s no projection on whether martin will make landfall as a tropical storm, hurricane or fizzle into sea.

Although tropical systems in the Atlantic season have seen a rather dormant season, this storm comes on the heels of Hurricanes Ian and Julia within the last month. Ian crushed Florida on September 28 as a high-level Category 4 storm. It leveled many structures on the barrier islands from Naples to Sarasota, with winds clocking more than 150 mph in some places.

Ian left more than 100 people dead, hundreds injured and hundreds of thousands displaced and without power or running water for at least more than a week.

Ian traversed northeast across Florida, wreaking havoc in Orlando and up through Jacksonville. Ian downgraded into a tropical storm but regained Category 1 strength before it made landfall again in South Carolina.

Julia took a somewhat similar path as Ian’s. Both storms began in the Atlantic, about 10-12 degrees north of the equator. Ian took a northward turn once it got into the Caribbean but Julia stayed on a westward path. Julia continued to a landfall as a Category 1 storm in Nicaragua on October 8.

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