6:04 P.M. — MIAMI (AP) ? The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Paula has weakened to a Category 1 storm as it approaches western Cuba.
The center said at 5 p.m. EDT that Paula had dropped a notch from a Category 2 storm as it took a track forecast to pass very near or over western Cuba later in the night or early Thursday.
The center says the center of the hurricane is about 45 miles (70 kilometers) west of the western tip of Cuba and maximum sustained winds have dropped to 85 mph (140 kph). It says a tropical storm warning has been issued by Cuban authorities for that country’s capital, Havana, and surrounding areas.
Forecasters say Paula is moving to the north-northeast at about 5 mph (7 kph) and gradual weakening is expected over the coming day or two.