Meteorologists William Gray, who began forecasting hurricane seasons at Colorado State University 24 years ago, and Phil Klotzbach predicted nine of the 17 storms will become hurricanes, and of those, five to develop into intense hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater.
No hurricanes made a U.S. landfall last year.
"We are calling for a very active hurricane season this yea, but not as active as the 2004 and 2005 seasons," Klotzbach said. "Based on our latest forecast, the probability of a major hurricane making landfall along the U.S. coastline is 74 percent compared with the last-century average of 52 percent."
The hurricane forecast team expects tropical cyclone activity this year will be 185 percent of the average season, compared with 2005's 275 percent.
"We've had an upturn of major storms since 1995," Gray said. "We think this upturn of major storms will continue for another 15 or 20 years."
The full report is available at hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu.