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(NBC News)  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a "near-normal or below-normal" number of tropical storms and hurricanes this year.

Forecasters think an El Nino weather pattern expected to soon form in the Pacific will suppress hurricane activity in the Atlantic.

They're predicting up to 13 tropical storms, with as many as six becoming hurricanes.

Still, they're urging caution.  

"It only takes one destructive storm to make for a very bad season on the ground in our communities," notes NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan.


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