Forecaster Lowers '07 Hurricane Estimate

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - Hurricane researcher William Gray Friday scaled down his 2007 hurricane forecast slightly.

The Colorado State University researcher is calling for 15 named storms in 2007, with eight becoming hurricanes and four becoming intense.

That's still above average. On May 31st, at the outset of hurricane season, Gray had called for 17 named storms and nine hurricanes, five of them intense.

Last year, there were ten named Atlantic storms, five of them hurricanes, two of those 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.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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