Hurricane experts at Colorado State University have scaled back their prediction for the Atlantic and now say this will be an average season with 12 named storms, including six hurricanes. They say two of them could be major.

Researchers William Gray and Phil Klotzbach had earlier predicted an above-average season with 14 named storms — seven of them hurricanes and three major.

Gray said Tuesday the forecast was dialed down because of improved chances of El Nino conditions that suppress hurricane formation.

This is Gray's 26th year of forecasting hurricanes.

His predictions are watched closely by emergency responders and others but critics say such long-range forecasts have little practical value beyond focusing public attention on the danger.

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