The strengthening tropical storm “Lisa” is moving towards Belize.  Martin forms in the central Atlantic.” Yale Climate Communications

The strengthening tropical storm “Lisa” is moving towards Belize. Martin forms in the central Atlantic.” Yale Climate Communications

The strengthening tropical storm “Lisa” is moving towards Belize. Martin forms in the central Atlantic.” Yale Climate Communications

Hurricane Hunters found Tropical Storm Lisa steadily strengthening in Caribbean waters north of Honduras on Tuesday, and the storm is forecast to hit Belize on Wednesday evening as a Category 1 hurricane.

As of 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday, Lisa was centered about 430 miles east of Belize City, Belize, moving west at 14 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph and a central pressure of 1,001 mb. Satellite images Late Tuesday morning showed that Lisa was much more consistent than Monday, with strong thunderstorms bringing heavy rain to northern Honduras.

Figure 1: GFS model 6Z forecasted precipitation from Tuesday’s run for the 5-day period ending in 2022. on Sunday, November 6 at 2 p.m. (Image credit. weathermodels.com)

Forecast for Lisa

The forecast for Lisa is relatively complicated, with a strong ridge of high pressure to its north forcing it to move mostly westward, bringing Lisa toward Belize. Models agree well with Lisa’s speed of progress, and the storm is expected to make landfall Wednesday evening.

Conditions will be favorable for intensification by the time Lisa makes landfall, with sea surface temperatures of 29-29.5 degrees Celsius (84-85 °F) and low to moderate wind shear of 5-15 knots. The atmosphere surrounding the storm is relatively dry (mid-level relative humidity of 60%, forecast to increase to 70% by Wednesday), and this dry air should limit Lisa’s potential for rapid intensification. The 12Z Tuesday run of the SHIPS and DTOPS models gave Lisa a 26% chance of meeting the definition of rapid strengthening by Wednesday morning; The SHIPS model gave Lisa a 15% chance of becoming a major hurricane with winds of 120 mph before landfall. Heavy rainfall of 4-6 inches, storm surge of 4-6 feet, and hurricane-force winds will all be serious threats in Belize from Lisa.

Belize has only been hit by two tropical storms and one hurricane in November since records began in 1851. The only hurricane was an unnamed Category 2 hurricane that made landfall in 1942. on November 9. Second most recent storm on record. Belize was hit by Category 4 Hurricane Hattie, which made landfall on October 31, 1961.

Figure 2: Visible satellite image of Tropical Storm Martin at 10:20 a.m. EDT on November 1, 2022. (Image credit. NOAA / RAMMB / Colorado State University)

Tropical Storm Martin is forming in the Central Atlantic Ocean

A non-tropical low pressure system located in the central Atlantic several hundred miles northeast of Bermuda has developed strong enough thunderstorm activity near its center to be named Tropical Storm Martin by 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday. Martin’s formation was facilitated by unusually warm sea surface temperatures of 25-25.5 degrees Celsius (77-78 °F), more than two degrees above average (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Sea surface temperature deviation in 2022. from the average of the period from October 24 to 30. SSTs at the location of the tropical storm (black box) in March are two degrees above average (3.6°F). (Image credit. Michael Lowry)

Conditions are favorable for strengthening as cold air creates enough instability to make Martin a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 80 mph by Wednesday night. Martin will be short-lived, though. steering currents will push the storm to the northeast with gusts of up to 30 mph by Wednesday, which will carry Martin over waters of just 21 degrees Celsius (70°F) by Thursday morning. These cold waters are expected to make Martin a hurricane-strength extratropical storm on Thursday. Martin is not a threat to any land area.

Martin formation takes place about a week later average date of development From the Atlantic Ocean’s 13th named storm of the year on October 25. This season’s activity now stands at 13 named hurricanes, five hurricanes, and two major hurricanes, with a cumulative Cyclone Energy Index of 73% of average for the day. It 1991-2020 average For November 1, there are 13.5 named hurricanes, 6.6 hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. So despite Hurricane Ian’s catastrophic fury, the Atlantic as a whole is having a pretty below-average season by most accounts.

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