DENVER — Hurricane researchers said Thursday that this year’s hurricane season won’t be as bad as predicted and said a monster storm like Katrina is unlikely ‘The probability of another Katrina-like event is very small,” said Phillip Klotzbach, lead forecaster for the hurricane research team at Colorado State University. The researchers reduced the number of likely hurricanes to seven from nine and intense hurricanes to three from five. There is, however, a considerably higher-than-average probability of at least one intense hurricane making landfall in the United States this year, 73 percent. The average is 52 percent. Researcher William Gray said Atlantic Ocean surface temperatures are not quite as warm and surface pressure is not quite as low, both factors in the decision to revise the forecast. ‘Overall, we think the 2006 Atlantic basin tropical storm season will be somewhat active,” Klotzbach said. ‘This year it looks like the East Coast is more likely to be targeted by Atlantic basin hurricanes than the Gulf Coast, although the possibility exists that any point along the U.S. coast could be affected.” Gray and his team say hurricane activity will continue to be above average for another 15 […]

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