Forecast reduced slightly

Federal forecasters minimally reduced their prediction for the Atlantic hurricane season Thursday, saying they expect up to nine hurricanes and up to 16 tropical storms to form.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is standing by its estimate that three to five of the hurricanes will be strong. The original report forecast up to 17 tropical storms, with up to 10 becoming hurricanes.

The revised federal forecast follows that of Colorado State University hurricane researcher William Gray. He slightly lowered his forecast last week.

Gray's initial projection called for 17 named storms and nine hurricanes, five of them intense. He revised it to 15 named storms and eight hurricanes, four of them intense.