weather

Updated at 11:30 p.m. ET

Hurricane Lane weakened Friday evening as it headed toward Hawaii.

The National Weather Service said "Lane weakens to a tropical storm south of Oahu but rain bands will still bring more flooding and damaging winds to parts of the main Hawaiian Islands."

Though the hurricane had been downgraded to a tropical storm, maximum sustained winds of 70 mph brought warnings of potential damage as it moved west toward the island of Oahu.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

Hurricane Lane has been downgraded to a Category 3 storm as it slowly makes its way toward the island chain.

As of 2 p.m. local time, Lane was centered about 260 miles south of Honolulu, Melissa Dye, a meteorologist with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, told NPR.

Even so, its outer bands continue to cause significant damage on the island of Hawaii, forcing residents to stay put.

Mudslides, landslides and flash flooding are causing road closures throughout the Big Island, Dye said.

Miami Herald Archive

The chances of a major hurricane happening this year have dropped dramatically, federal forecasters said on Thursday.
 

That upbeat revised prediction comes just as the Atlantic hurricane season typically heats up, with August, September and October historically producing the most and strongest storms.

The reasons for the dwindling possibilities: Cooler surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, non-conducive wind patterns and warmer Pacific Ocean waters are creating a hostile environment for hurricanes in the Atlantic and Caribbean basins.

National Weather Service

July this year was the hottest ever recorded in Key West — where officials have been keeping weather records since 1871.

Dramatic weather events happened this past week in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. There were wildfires in Greece, Scandinavia, and the Western U.S. Flooding followed record rainfalls in the Northeast. And dangerous heat waves settled over the Southwest, Japan, and the U.K.

If it continues like this, 2018 could end up being one of the hottest years on record.

Nuclear power plants in Europe have been forced to cut back electricity production because of warmer-than-usual seawater.

Plants in Finland, Sweden and Germany have been affected by a heat wave that has broken records in Scandinavia and the British Isles and exacerbated deadly wildfires along the Mediterranean.

Taiwan and parts of Japan are bracing for super typhoon Maria, expected to make a close pass on Tuesday, packing winds in excess of 110 mph.

The typhoon is forecast to rake the northern end of Taiwan and to threaten lives and property in Japan's southern Ryukyu islands.

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were hit by power outages and widespread flooding Monday as remnants of the Atlantic season's first hurricane provided an initial test of how far they have recovered from last year's devastating storms.

July is usually a quiet month in the tropical Atlantic. Not this year. Two tropical storms have formed in the past four days, one briefly becoming a hurricane and the other expected to by late Monday. Neither system is an imminent or significant threat. Floridians, however, might want to keep a close eye on one.

Beryl barreling west

It took less than 15 hours for Tropical Depression Two to become the season’s first hurricane in the Atlantic basin. With an eye only five miles wide and a wind field of only about 60 miles in diameter, Beryl has defied every forecast (so far) to become a tiny, but potent Category 1 hurricane.

It's summertime in the Northern Hemisphere, and a couple of constants remain: Just as surely as it's going to be hot, people are going to want to talk about exactly how hot it is.

But the heat has been so notable in the past week or so that records are being stretched and scorched from Canada to Armenia, with roofs and roads going runny.

With hurricane season in full swing, staff at Florida's evacuation shelters are busy making preparations like what to do for specials needs evacuees and where to send victims of domestic violence. But this year they're practicing for a new issue — what to do if immigration officials want to take a look around.

Source: National Weather Service

When a hurricane forms and begins to tumble landward, the one question anyone ever wants answered is: What's that mean for me, my family and my roof?

While not absolute — it's weather after all — super computers and super graphics now allow meteorologists to provide a reasonable answer.

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