Hurricane Lisa nears landfall as Martin gains hurricane strength


The calendar may say November, but the tropical Atlantic is much busier than any time in August. Two hurricanes – Lisa and Martin – have developed and a third system is forming, bringing a flurry of activity to the season that is now almost over.

According to statistics, a November storm should occur in the Atlantic Ocean every two to three years. It is rare to have two at the same time. A pair of hurricanes crossed the Atlantic at the same time only twice in November. According to Phil KlotzbachTropical Weather Researcher at Colorado State University.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the entire coast Wednesday morning as Lisa approached Belize. The National Hurricane Center issued a tornado warning and “life-threatening storm surge” near Lisa’s core, which is expected to make landfall late Wednesday afternoon.

The southeast coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, from Chetumal to Puerto Costa Maya, was also under a hurricane threat. A tropical storm warning has been issued for the northern coasts of Guatemala and Honduras.

“Preparations to protect life and property should be completed immediately,” the Hurricane Center wrote.

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Another hurricane, Martin, became the seventh Atlantic hurricane of 2022 on Wednesday morning. It is located in the North Atlantic, hundreds of miles northeast of Bermuda, and is forecast to move northeast over open waters over the next few days.

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Between Lisa and Martin, there is a chance for a third system to slowly develop near the Bahamas over the next few days.

Despite devastating hurricanes like Fiona and Ian that wreaked havoc in Puerto Rico, Atlantic Canada and southwest Florida, late-season activity in the Atlantic follows a somewhat quieter season. Overall activity is 25 percent below average at this time.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially ends on November 30. November is usually a slow month, with activity decreasing and eventually flattening out. On average, only 7 percent of hurricanes in a season occur after Halloween.

As of Wednesday morning, Lisa was 60 miles east of the Honduran island of Roatan and 100 miles east of Belize City. It was moving west at 15 mph, with maximum gusts of 80 mph. Lisa’s roughly 30-mile-wide eyewall, a ring of strong winds surrounding its quiet center, was visible on radar as it drifted westward. It was ready to land between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM ET.

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Winds were expected to become increasingly strong along the coastline, becoming stronger around noon or shortly after. Onshore winds near Lisa’s center could approach 70 to 80 mph. Belize City appears to be at the crossroads of the eyewall trajectory.

Dangerous storm Lisa’s center is likely to be in northern areas where it comes ashore. In this area, Lisa’s onshore winds push ocean water up to 4 to 7 feet onshore. Areas north of Belize City, including the resort communities of Ambergris Caye, may experience maximum uplift.

Areas south of Belize City will also experience offshore winds, which should limit wave growth.

Heavy rainfall amounts of 4 to 6 inches are expected along the system’s direct path, with localized amounts of 10 inches possible.

“This rain is particularly likely to cause flooding from Belize to northern Guatemala, the far southeast Yucatan Peninsula, eastern Mexico’s Chiapas state, and Mexico’s Tabasco state,” the Hurricane Center wrote.

Martin suddenly developed from a mature midlatitude cyclone on Tuesday. The overall system did not form through normal tropical processes, but showers and thunderstorms near the center of the system. In other words, a compact tropical storm that forms in the core of a non-tropical system.

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It has since become a hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. The storm, located about 800 miles northeast of Bermuda, was moving northeast at just over 15 mph.

By Thursday, Martin is expected to strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 105 mph, but will then lose tropical characteristics and quickly become a post-tropical cyclone. It will remain south of Greenland until the end of the working week and wobble northwards before turning suddenly east and gradually weakening as it approaches Britain.

Weather models are beginning to suggest that a large, broad, low-pressure system could develop near or east of the Bahamas in the coming days. The hurricane center estimates a 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or hurricane within the next five days.

The system could move toward Florida or the Gulf of Mexico in about a week, but it’s almost impossible to predict how organized and strong it will be. If the system had a name, it would be Nicole.


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