Hurricane Lisa bearing down on Belize; watching the western Atlantic next week

Latest update on the tropics provided by Local 10 Hurricane Specialist and Storm Surge Expert Michael Lowry


Lisa solidified a compact core yesterday, and the storm has gradually strengthened since, this morning becoming the sixth hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.

The hurricane is forecast to strike Belize later tonight as a Category 1 hurricane, bringing the threat for strong winds, up to 7 feet of dangerous storm surge, and flash flooding from Belize inland to Guatemala and parts of southern Mexico this week.

Though morning microwave satellite and radar show a nascent eyewall open to Lisa’s southwest, perhaps stunting otherwise quicker strengthening with the intrusion of mid-level dry air, the storm still has another 12 hours or so over warm water to intensify further before landfall.

Microwave satellite from around 5 AM ET Wednesday showing Lisa’s formative eyewall, open to the southwest side. (Navy/Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC).)

The forecast into the weekend shifted slightly northward from Tuesday due to a stronger-than-anticipated Hurricane Lisa.

This means Lisa’s circulation may skirt the more mountainous terrain of southern Mexico and could hold together into the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico and Bay of Campeche this weekend.

Despite the forecast adjustment, Lisa isn’t expected to restrengthen, as a curtain of wind shear closes over the Gulf this weekend.


As Lisa moves inland, we’ll be turning our attention this weekend and next week to a complex weather system poised to emerge over the western Atlantic.

At 20,000 to 30,000 feet up, strong jet stream winds will pinch off into a large, sprawling cutoff low pressure system off the Carolinas and dive southward toward the Bahamas over the weekend.

Simultaneously, a disturbance near the surface will rotate northward out of the Caribbean and toward this larger gyre. The upshot is the possibility for slow subtropical development near the Bahamas for early next week.

Regardless of development, forecast models are in generally good agreement with drifting the unusual weather system northwestward and toward the Florida peninsula for mid next week.

With South Florida squeezed between high pressure to the north and building low pressure to the south, we can expect breezy conditions, rough seas, and the potential for gray and squally weather near the coast deeper into next week.

It’s important to note this is all still over a week out, so we’ll have plenty of time to sort through the details in the days ahead.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, Martin formed yesterday – somewhat surprisingly – over open waters some 500 miles east-northeast of Bermuda. It’s forecast to become a hurricane today but will quickly merge with a large and powerful storm system over the far north Atlantic by the end of the workweek.

About the Author:

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