Eintime Conversion for education and research 10-20-2007 @ 07:24:19
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Forecaster lowers '07 hurricane estimate

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Hurricane researcher William Gray lowered his 2007 forecast slightly Friday, calling for 15 named storms, with eight becoming hurricanes and four becoming intense.

ON THE WEB: Gray's meteorology

On May 31, at the outset of hurricane season, Gray had called for 17 named storms and nine hurricanes, five of them intense.

"We've lowered our forecast from our May predictions because of slightly less favorable conditions in the tropical Atlantic," said Philip Klotzbach, a member of Gray's team at Colorado State University.

The new forecast calls for three named storms, two hurricanes and one intense hurricane in August; five named storms, four hurricanes and two intense hurricanes in September; and five named storms, two hurricanes and one intense hurricane in October and November combined.

The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, averages 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 intense hurricanes per year.

There were 10 named Atlantic storms last year and five hurricanes, two of them major. None of the hurricanes hit the U.S. Atlantic coast.

The devastating 2005 season set a record with 28 named storms, 15 of them hurricanes. Four hurricanes hit the U.S., including Katrina, which devastated parts of the Gulf Coast.

(Original Len: 1696 Condensed Len: 1771)

10-20-2007 @ 07:24:19