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CSU team reduces hurricane forecast again


FORT COLLINS, Colo.--The hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University have scaled back their predictions for this year's hurricane activity yet again.

In an update issued Tuesday, the team predicted that only two more named tropical storms, one of which would grow to hurricane strength, would form during the remainder of the year. That would bring the total of named storms for 2006 to 11, six of which would be hurricanes. At the beginning of the hurricane season, the team had predicted 17 named storms, nine of which it predicted to grow into hurricanes.

But the conditions conducive to another above-average hurricane season failed to materialize.

"We have experienced average hurricane activity through September," according to the team's Oct. 3 report. "August was inactive, but September had above-average activity. We expect October to have below-average activity largely due to developing El Niño conditions in the central and eastern Pacific. November activity in El Niño years is very rare."