"The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday predicted a "near or below normal" 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, with eight to 13 tropical storms and three to six hurricanes, one or two of which would reach major Category 3 status.
A typical season has 12 tropical storms, with six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. The six month-long hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
Forecasters at Colorado State University, a leading U.S. extreme weather analysis team, last month predicted this year's season will see nine tropical storms, three of which will intensify into a hurricane and one becoming a Category 3 hurricane with winds above 111 miles per hour (178 kph).
The lower forecast was based on cooler waters in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and expectations that El Niño - a climate pattern that creates strong wind shear, making it harder for storms to develop into hurricanes - will form this year, NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan told a press conference in New York."
David Adams reports for Reuters May 23, 2014.