What you need to know, currently.
Tropical storm Lisa formed in the central Caribbean Sea Monday morning, becoming the 12th named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. It will move towards part of Central America later this week, possibly turning into a hurricane.
As of 11 a.m. on Monday, the storm was around 175 miles south of Jamaica and moving west at 14 miles per hour with maximum winds of 40 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Lisa is expected to continue westward, passing near or just north of Honduras’ northern coast late Tuesday through Wednesday. Lisa will then scrape into Belize Wednesday night, then into Guatemala Thursday, before hitting southeast Mexico later Thursday or early Friday.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for Jamaica, but was cancelled in Grand Cayman. Tropical storm conditions are still possible throughout Monday.
“The coast of Central America, especially near Belize and the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, should monitor the progress of the system,” the National Weather Service said.
The current forecast puts Lisa up to a Category 1 hurricane by the time it makes landfall in Belize Wednesday night.
Storm surge flooding and heavy winds are possible where Lisa makes landfall. Heavy rain is also a threat with Lisa in Central America, including Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and southeast Mexico. These conditions could trigger flash flooding and landslides in hilly areas as well.
The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June through November, had a pretty quiet start with only three named storms before Sept. 1 and none during August. This hasn’t happened since 1997. By the end of September, though, Hurricane Ian devastated the coast of Florida as a Category 4 hurricane.
Last year, there were 21 named storms, after a record-breaking 30 in 2020.
Of course, this can all be linked to climate change. A warming planet creates conditions that are suitable for stronger, more frequent hurricanes. Hurricanes are also becoming wetter, as more water vapour forms in warmer atmospheres. This leads to much more rain than there would be without human-induced climate change. Rising sea levels also contribute to higher storm surge.
What you can do, currently.