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NOAA reduces 2007 hurricane forecast


CAMP SPRINGS, Md.--The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center has scaled back the number of named tropical storms it is forecasting for the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season to 13 to 16, down from 13 to 17 predicted in May.

In a forecast released Thursday, the Camp Springs, Md.-based center still foresees an 85% chance of an above-normal season, which runs through Nov. 30. According to NOAA, seven to nine of the named storms will grow to hurricane strength; and three to five could become major hurricanes, packing sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

NOAA's scaled-back forecast follows a similar scaled-back forecast issued by Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorological Project last week. But like NOAA, the CSU team also continues to predict above-average hurricane activity this year.