The researchers, led by Lian Xie, professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences, and Montserrat Fuentes, professor of statistics, forecast 15 to 18 named storms in the Atlantic basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea [says WRAL.com].
The 50-year average is nine to 11 named storms in the Atlantic.
Eight to 11 of the named storms could reach hurricane strength, the researchers said.
There is an 80 percent chance that one of the named storms will make landfall along the southeastern U.S. coast and a 70 percent chance that the storm will arrive as a hurricane, they said. ...