A North Carolina researcher says the 2009 hurricane season for the Atlantic and Gulf coasts will be about average and slightly less active than last year.
North Carolina State University professor Lian Xie said Thursday there will be 11 to 14 named storms during the season in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.
Six to eight storms may become hurricanes. His team estimates there is a 45 percent chance of a hurricane hitting the southeastern U.S. coast, and a 40 percent chance of a major hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast.
Xie's prediction is in line with forecasters at Colorado State University. They estimate 12 named storms will develop, including six hurricanes.
Last year there were 16 named storms.