Government Downgrades Hurricane Predictions

Government forecasters have minimally reduced their prediction for the Atlantic hurricane season.

They now say up to nine hurricanes and up to 16 tropical storms are expected to form. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration maintained its estimate that three to five of the hurricanes would be strong. The original report forecast up to 17 tropical storms, with up to 10 becoming hurricanes.

The move follows the one by Colorado State University hurricane researcher William Gray, who slightly lowered his forecast last week.

Gray's initial projection called for 17 named storms and nine hurricanes, five of them intense. He revised it to 15 named storms and eight hurricanes, four of them intense.

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