Denver A team of top hurricane researchers lowered its 2006 forecast for Atlantic hurricanes for the second time in a month Friday, predicting a slightly below-average season with five hurricanes instead of seven.
Two of the hurricanes will be intense, according to the team headed by forecaster William Gray at Colorado State University.
His team predicted a 59 percent likelihood that a hurricane would hit the U.S. coastline in September, and a 35 percent chance of an intense hurricane. For October, the forecasters said there was a 14 percent chance a hurricane would strike the coast.
As of Friday, five named storms had formed, including Ernesto, which briefly became the season's first hurricane last week and moved north up the East Coast on Friday as a tropical depression.