U.S. government forecasters are predicting a busier than usual Atlantic hurricane season this year with as many as six major storms.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday there is a 70 percent chance that 13 to 20 named storms will form in the Atlantic Ocean this season. It says as many as 11 of them could strengthen into hurricanes -- storms with winds of 119 kilometers per hour or higher.
The forecasters say they cannot predict if any of those storms will strike land.
NOAA says warmer than average waters in the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic along with other atmospheric conditions make it ripe for an active hurricane season. NOAA says it is committed to providing life-saving forecasts and ensuring Americans are prepared.
The hurricane season officially begins June 1 and lasts until November 30.
There were 10 Atlantic hurricanes in 2012, including Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the New York and New Jersey coasts in October.