Not one hurricane strikes United States :: By JESSICA GRESKO, Associated Press Writer : 33 minutes ago : MIAMI - The mild 2006 Atlantic hurricane season draws to a close Thursday without a single hurricane striking the United States — a stark contrast to the record-breaking 2005 season that killed more than 1,500 people and left thousands homeless along the Gulf Coast. Nine named storms and five hurricanes formed this season, and just two of the hurricanes were considered major. That is considered a near-normal season — and well short of the rough season government scientists had forecast. "We got a much-welcome break after a lot of the coast had been compromised in the last several years, but this is a one-season type break," said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In May, scientists predicted 13 to 16 named storms and eight to 10 hurricanes, with four to six of them major [...] Only two storms, Tropical Storms Alberto and Ernesto, hit the U.S. mainland in 2006. Neither caused significant damage. The season effectively ended with Hurricane Isaac, the last named storm, which dissipated Oct. 2.