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Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins

NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Subtropical Storm Joel (far right), southeast of Madagascar, just as it had strengthened enough to get its name, 28 May 2010

The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season has officially begun with weather experts predicting an "active to extremely active season."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there will be between 14 and 23 named storms this hurricane season.

NOAA meteorologists say eight to 14 of these storms could become hurricanes with winds of at least 119 kilometers per hour.

The hurricane season begins as oil from a spill off the Louisiana coast continues to spread through the Gulf of Mexico.

Experts say potential storms could complicate efforts to stop the leak and clean-up the oil.

Jamie Rhome of U.S. National Hurricane Center speaks with VOA's David Byrd:

There are also concerns that severe weather could spread the oil further along the Gulf coast, causing wider environmental and economic damage.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.