Lisa turns into a hurricane

(CNN) — Lisa has become a hurricane, according to an 8 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Hurricane Lisa now has winds of 120 km/h with even stronger gusts.

The cyclone is now about 100 miles (160 km) east-southeast of Belize, moving west at 15 mph. Hurricane and tropical storm warnings remain in effect for parts of the east coast of Central America, including the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.

Lisa is expected to make landfall in Belize later Wednesday, then cross northern Guatemala and head for southeastern Mexico on Thursday. Its passage could leave heavy rains of up to 150 millimeters, with local amounts of 250 millimeters in Belize and storm surges of more than two meters near and north of where Lisa’s center crosses the coast of Belize and the extreme southeastern parts of the Yucatan Peninsula.

At midnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, the cyclone was located about 210 kilometers east-northeast of the island of Roatán, the largest in the Islas de la Bahía archipelago, in the Honduran Caribbean, while it was blowing maximum sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour (km/h) and moving with a speed of 24 km/h towards the west.

After making landfall, the hurricane is expected to weaken quickly but will continue to drop heavy rain as it passes through southeastern Mexico, home to popular tourist destinations such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Lisa is estimated to enter the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical depression by the end of the week.

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