The official start to the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season is less than a week away and Accuweather.com and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have just releasedÃ‚ updated forecasts for the season. NOAAÃ‚ puts the probability of a near-normal hurricane season atÃ‚ 50 percent, the probability of an above-normal season at 25 percent and a 25 percent probability of a below-normal season. Meanwhile Accuweather.com chief long-range and hurricane forecaster Joe Bastardi expects the number of hurricanes to be below average this season,Ã‚ but warns that the area in which they can impact the United States has expanded in comparison to previous years. The Texas coast early in the season and East Coast from Carolinas northwardÃ‚ during the heart of the season are particular areas of concern.Ã‚ Ã¢â‚¬Å“The larger potential area of impact could make it more difficult for businesses and government agencies to proactively prepare and allocate resources for the upcoming 2009 hurricane season. This could result in an increased financial burden on government agencies and businesses that are unprepared in the event of a landfalling hurricane,Ã¢â‚¬ he says. Bastardi expects three storms to deal at least tropical-storm-force winds to the U.S. coast, two of which could be hurricanes and perhaps one major hurricane. Check back with us June 2 for an updated forecast of 2009 hurricane activity from Colorado State UniversityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Tropical Meteorology Project. Check out I.I.I. facts and stats on hurricanes.