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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Hurricane Lisa headed toward Belize; Martin also forecast to become hurricane

Hurricane Lisa developed in the Caribbean on Wednesday as the storm churned toward landfall in Belize.  (National Hurricane Center/TNS/TNS)
By Robin Webb, Victoria Ballard and Angie DiMichele South Florida Sun Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The sixth and seventh hurricanes of the season formed Wednesday, with Hurricane Lisa developing in the Caribbean and Hurricane Martin forming in the north-central Atlantic Ocean.

And, the National Hurricane Center advisory says a third storm could develop by the weekend.

Lisa was poised to make landfall in Belize Wednesday, while Martin churned in the open Atlantic.

As of 11 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday, Lisa was located 55 miles east-southeast of Belize City. Lisa was a Category 1 hurricane producing maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and moving west at 14 mph.

Hurricane watches and tropical storm watches and warnings are in effect in areas of Honduras, Mexico, Belize and Guatemala.

After landfall in Belize, Lisa is forecast to cross northern Guatemala and move into southeastern Mexico by Thursday.

Martin had top winds of 75 mph at 11 a.m. Wednesday and was moving east-northeast at 26 mph. Martin is expected to transition to a powerful extratropical system on Thursday. It is no threat to land.

Lisa could bring 1 inch of rain this week to portions of the Cayman Islands and eastern Nicaragua.

Jamaica, Mexico’s eastern Yucatan Peninsula, northern Honduras and Guatemala could see 2 to 4 inches of rain, with up to 6 inches in localized areas.

Belize, Honduras’ Bay Islands, northern Guatemala and part of southeastern Mexico could see flash flooding and 4 to 6 inches of rain, with localized totals of up to 10 inches, the National Hurricane Center said.

In addition to Hurricane Lisa and Hurricane Martin, the National Hurricane Center is also monitoring an area near the eastern Caribbean for potential development.

Forecasters are also monitoring a third possible storm, an area of low pressure in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. The area could move into the eastern Caribbean and develop over the weekend, the hurricane center said in its 8 a.m. advisory. It has 20% chance of developing as it moves north.

There have been two major hurricanes, meaning Category 3 or above, so far this season. NOAA has predicted between two and six more hurricanes to form before hurricane season officially ends on Nov. 30.

The next named storm to form will be Nicole.