Tropical storm Lisa is expected to become a hurricane within the next few hours.
The storm is on a trajectory that will hit Belize head-on, but warnings have also been issued for most of the south of the Yucatán Peninsula.
Authorities in countries in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico have warned to expect wind gusts of up to 85 miles per hour.
Forecasts are also warning of potential heavy rains across the entirety of the Yucatán Peninsula, including northern cities like Mérida and Cancún.
The US National Weather Service has noted that the formation of this weather phenomenon comes extremely late in the Atlantic hurricane season.
It is widely believed that this shift towards stronger storms late in the season is due to factors including human-caused climate change.
In fact, 2022 has seen the slowest start to the Atlantic hurricane season in about 30 years.
The average date for the first hurricane to form anywhere in the Atlantic, according to weatherchannel.com
The worst hurricanes in Yucatán’s recent memory include Gilbert, which devastated Mérida in 1988, and Wilma, which wreaked havoc in Cancún and the Riviera Maya in 2005.
In 2020, the Yucatán Peninsula was hit hard by hurricanes Delta and Zeta, as well as the tropical storms Amanda, Cristobal, and Gamma. The Atlantic hurricane season finished with 30 named storms, the most in any year on record.
Hurricane Lisa is expected to continue to move west through the Bay of Campeche on Friday morning.
Hurricanes are tropical storms with sustained wind speeds of at least 74 mph. The intensity of hurricanes is measured on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, which ranks storms into categories ranging from one to five, based on a hurricane’s maximum sustained winds.