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‘Above average’ hurricane season predicted

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Top forecasters are predicting an above-average 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, with 18 tropical storms forecast, of which nine will be hurricanes.
The forecast was released Wednesday morning by meteorologists Philip Klotzbach and William Gray at Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project.
The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and lasts until November 30.
Gray’s team was the first organization to issue seasonal hurricane forecasts back in 1984; this is the team’s 30th seasonal hurricane forecast.
The team’s forecast in 2012 – ten named storms and four hurricanes — was far below what actually occurred: Last year, 19 storms formed, including ten  hurricanes. This included Hurricane Sandy, which slammed the Northeast coast in October, killing dozens and leading to billions of dollars in damage. Three straight Atlantic hurricane seasons have had 19 storms.
This forecast is for the Atlantic basin, which includes the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Klotzbach said that of the nine predicted hurricanes, four should be major hurricanes — categories 3, 4 or 5 — with sustained wind speeds of 111 mph or greater.

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