Currently in the Atlantic — November 3rd, 2022

The weather, currently.

Key messages regarding Hurricane Lisa from the National Hurricane Center.

Lisa has slowly strengthened overnight from a strong tropical storm to a Category 1 Hurricane. Lisa is still moving westward at a considerable speed of 14 mph and is in the process of making landfall near Belize City, Belize this afternoon. Maximum sustained winds with this hurricane is 80 mph.

Hurricane-force winds extend about 10 miles from the center of the storm, primarily on north of the center. By landfall, the expectation is that the hurricane wind field will expand to the southern half of the center, doubling the size of the wind field.

Tropical-storm-force winds, on the other hand, extend about 70 miles from the center. So, if you're in the direct path of the center of the storm, you'd experience tropical-storm-force winds for up to 10 hours. And if you're over the open waters, these type of persistent winds can kick up some serious waves. As a result, one of the biggest concerns with this storm is storm surge. The National Hurricane Center, in their public advisories, has warned that the storm surge is likely to reach 4 to 7 feet above high tide across much of the Belize coast along and north of the trajectory of the center of the storm. This will lead to significant coastal erosion and flooding.

While Hurricane Lisa is dropping lots of rain, the quick movement of this storm will prevent catastrophic rainfalls we have experienced from slower moving storms over Central America. 4 to 6 inches of rain, with up to 10 inches is possible across Belize. Widespread rain is also expected as the storm traverses across Mexico from the southern border to the Bay of Campeche.

The topography of this region is generally flat and densely tropical. That means there is a lot of moisture in the atmosphere for this storm to work with, and will limit how much Lisa weakens over land. There is a good chance that Lisa remains a an organized tropical system after traveling hundreds of miles inland and reemerges into the open waters of the Bay of Campeche on Friday.

Forecast track of Hurricane Lisa. 

Once Lisa enters the Bay of Campeche, any chance of significant re-intensification will be limited by an overall hostile environment for tropical systems. Sea surfaces temperatures are lukewarm in the 26º-28ºC range, which is enough to sustain a tropical system, but not great for strengthening. There were also be plenty of wind shear in place in the Bay of Campeche.

Wind Shear Forecast from the GFS. Graphic courtesy of Tropical Tidbits. 

Anthony Torres filling in for Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz

What you need to know, currently.

Protesters gathered outside the World LNG and Gas Series Summit, which was held in Lake Charles, Louisiana today at the Golden Nugget Casino. Lake Charles is a petrochemical, oil, and gas hub in Southwest Louisiana about two hours from Houston that’s particularly vulnerable to climate change. It was hit by two back to back hurricanes in 2020.

Over the past decade, Southwest Louisiana — specifically Cameron Parish, south of Lake Charles, has become the LNG capital of America. Residents have seen few benefits however — jobs often go to oil and gas workers who are brought in from out of state and because of Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program, companies receive billions in tax abatements while locals struggle to fund public schools and badly needed infrastructure improvements.

“What we have is a community that’s solid but has been shaken this year by all of these storms,” Louisiana Bucket Brigade organizer, James Hiatt, told KPLC 7 news. “We’re tired of being resilient, we’re tired of people calling us resilient. What we want is action, and what we need is for people to listen and become aware of what’s going on in this area.”