Jamaica, Grand Cayman under tropical storm watch

The next name for a storm on the list is Lisa

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PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – The disturbance formerly known as Invest 95L was classified a Potential Tropical Cyclone by the National Hurricane Center Sunday afternoon, which allowed the center to issue Tropical Storm Watches for Jamaica and Grand Cayman Island ahead of the organizing system.

While the circulation is robust, with a wide swath of 30-plus mph winds to its north and east, it hasn’t yet tighted up, with thunderstorm activity lacking to upgrade it to a full-fledged Tropical Storm. The next name on the list is Lisa.

"Surface wind estimates from late Sunday evening showing the Potential Tropical Cyclone’s large, elongated circulation via the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s Meteorological Operational (MetOp) satellite. (Credit: Navy Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center.)

Potential Tropical Cyclone Fifteen is expected to organize and strengthen in the days ahead as it heads westward and deeper into the western Caribbean.

With the inclusion of new data from a plethora of hurricane hunter missions, forecast models turned more bullish yesterday on the system’s future this week. The official forecast now calls for a hurricane by mid-week before reaching the shores of Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize.

On the way to Central America, what’s forecast to be Tropical Storm Lisa will make a close call with Jamaica later today into Tuesday, where its large circulation could bring gusty winds above 38 mph. While damaging winds will be a concern later this week if forecasts materialize, locally heavy rainfall for Jamaica, Grand Cayman Island, parts of Central America, and southern Mexico will remain one of the primary hazards.

For South Florida, we’ll avoid any scares from the tropics this Halloween and for the week ahead.

About the Author:

Michael Lowry is Local 10's Hurricane Specialist and Storm Surge Expert.