© Alan Diaz/AP/File
James Franklin, Branch Chief of Hurricane Forecast Operations, points to a weather satellite map as he talks to a reporter at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, April 4.
The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1, is shaping up to deliver above-normal activity again this year, according to several seasonal forecasts. Indeed, the season could be extremely active, according to Kathryn Sullivan, acting administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Forecasters at the agency's Climate Prediction Center anticipate from 13 to 20 tropical storms over the six-month season. Of those, between seven and 11 are expected to become hurricanes, with three to six of the hurricanes expected to reach "major" status, meaning they host maximum sustained winds topping 111 miles an hour.
The federal forecast, released Thursday afternoon, brackets other seasonal outlooks that also point to a busy season.
In April, for instance, researchers at Colorado State University in Fort Collins released their initial forecast for 2013, which included 18 tropical storms, of which nine are expected to become hurricanes. Four could become major hurricanes.