The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has classified a disturbance in the Caribbean as Potential Tropical Cyclone #15; the NHC believes this storm will soon develop into Tropical Storm Lisa and eventually become Hurricane Lisa in the coming days. While Lisa hasn’t formed yet, the government of Jamaica and the government of the Cayman Islands have issued Tropical Storm Watches for their territory. NOAA has dispatched hurricane hunter aircraft to further investigate the system now.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for all of Jamaica and Grand Cayman Island. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours. The National Hurricane Center says that interests elsewhere along the coast of Central America, especially Belize, should monitor the progress of this system. Additional watches or warnings will likely be required early this coming week.
As of the latest advisory from the NHC, the disturbance in question was located about 265 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica and roughly 560 miles east-southeast of Grand Cayman. Maximum sustained winds are at 40 mph while the minimum central pressure is down to 1005 mb or 29.68″. It is moving to the west-northwest at 10 mph.
The NHC says that strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the system is expected to become a tropical storm tonight, and it could be
near hurricane intensity by Tuesday night. The storm could strike Central America as a hurricane Wednesday or Thursday.
For now, tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area in Jamaica beginning late Monday and are possible on Grand Cayman Island on Tuesday. Through Wednesday afternoon, the system is expected to produce rainfall amounts of around 1″, with upwards of 2″ possible across portions of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Cayman Islands, northern Honduras, eastern Nicaragua, and Belize. For Jamaica, 2-4″ of rain is possible; such heavy rain could lead to flash flooding and risk of mudslides. Swells generated by the system are expected to affect Jamaica and the Cayman Islands during the next couple of days. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current
The NHC isn’t tracking any other system in the Atlantic at this time; no other tropical cyclone is forecast to develop for at least the next 6 days throughout the Atlantic hurricane basin. The Atlantic Hurricane Season continues through to the end of November.