NOAA revises hurricane-season predictions

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration revised its forecast for the Atlantic hurricane season and now predicts a near- to below-normal season as the calming effects of El Niño continue to develop.

The season, which began June 1, is entering its historical peak period of August through October, when most storms form.

"While this hurricane season has gotten off to quiet start, it's critical that the American people are prepared in case a hurricane strikes," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in a statement.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, now predicts a 50 percent probability of a near-normal season, a 40 percent probability of a below-normal season, and a 10 percent probability of an above-normal season.

Forecasters say there is a 70 percent chance of seven to 11 named storms, of which three to six could become hurricanes, including one to two major hurricanes.

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