The Gulf and Atlantic Coasts - and the nation's taxpayers - may be getting a break this hurricane season.

The updated forecast from the team at Colorado State University released today calls for an unexceptional season with hurricane activity near normal, even though the Atlantic Basin remains in an active hurricane era.

In issuing their outlook for the season that began yesterday and continues through Nov. 30, William M. Gray and Philip J. Kotzbach said cooler waters in both the tropical Pacific and Atlantic and strong high pressure in the North Atlantic may hold down the numbers this year.

They are calling for 11 named storms, those with winds of 39 mph winds or greater, and six hurricanes, packing winds of at least 74 mph That's a downgrade from outlooks posted in December and April.

Similarly, WSI Corp., a private service based in Massachusetts, predicted 11 named storms and five hurricanes in an outlook posted last week.

On average, 11 named storms form annually in the Atlantic Basin, which consists of the Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Government forecaster also are calling for an average season.

The Colorado State forecasters noted that the basin remains in an "active" hurricane period that began in 1995 and could last 10 or 15 more years.

"It is not unusual to have a few below-average years within an active multi-decadal period," they said.

Contact Anthony R. Wood at 610-313-8210 or twood@phillynews.com.