Editor's note: Potential Tropical Cyclone 15 has strengthened into Tropical Storm Lisa, and this story is no longer being updated. Click here for the latest information about Tropical Storm Lisa.
A tropical disturbance in the central Caribbean Sea is expected to become the 12th named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season on Halloween as it eyes parts of Central America, potentially as a hurricane, later this week.
This disturbance has been dubbed Potential Tropical Cyclone Fifteen by the National Hurricane Center. A potential tropical cyclone is a system that has not yet developed into a tropical depression or tropical storm but poses a threat of 40-plus-mph winds over land within 48 hours. The NHC issues routine advisories on potential tropical cyclones just as it does for tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes.
As of Monday morning, Potential Tropical Cyclone Fifteen was centered more than 150 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica. The system is already producing tropical-storm-force winds (40-plus mph) but lacks the convective organization required to be considered a tropical storm.
Potential Tropical Cyclone Fifteen is packing maximum sustained winds of 40 mph as it moves westward across the central Caribbean Sea.
Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for Jamaica and Grand Cayman Island.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical-storm-force winds (40-plus mph) are possible in the watch area, generally within 48 hours. In this case, 40-plus-mph winds are possible in Jamaica on Halloween and on Grand Cayman Island on Tuesday.
Additional watches or warnings will likely be required early this week for portions of Central America, particularly the coasts of Belize and the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.
The FOX Forecast Center expects that Potential Tropical Cyclone Fifteen will organize into a tropical storm on Halloween, earning the name "Lisa." That will make this system the 12th named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.
The potential tropical cyclone is forecast to move toward the west or west-northwest over the next few days, which means it will likely pass south of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands on Halloween and into Tuesday before approaching Central America on Wednesday.
Current indications are that future "Lisa" will continue to strengthen and could be near hurricane strength (75-plus-mph winds) by Wednesday as it moves closer to the coast of Central America.
According to the FOX Forecast Center, Potential Tropical Cyclone Fifteen is expected to produce up to an inch of rain in portions of Hispaniola, the Cayman Islands, northern Honduras and eastern Nicaragua through Thursday morning. Localized areas could see up to 2 inches of rainfall.
In Jamaica and Belize, between 2 and 4 inches of rain is predicted, with localized amounts of up to 6 inches in Belize. The heavy rainfall could lead to flash flooding in some locations.
Potential Tropical Cyclone Fifteen will not pose any threat to the U.S. Gulf Coast.