FORT COLLINS, Colo., April 10 (UPI) -- U.S. hurricane experts William Gray and Philip Klotzbach say they expect a busy 2008 Atlantic hurricane season, with as many as 15 named storms.
The Colorado State University scientists in their April forecast said they also anticipate an above average probability of major hurricanes making landfall in the United States.
Gray and Klotzbach said they expect 2008 will have about eight hurricanes (the average is 5.9) and four intense hurricanes (average is 2.3).
They also predict:
-- A 69 percent probability of at least one major hurricane striking the U.S. coastline, with the average for the last century being 52 percent.
-- A 45 percent probability for the U.S. east coast, including the Florida peninsula. The last century's average was 31 percent.
-- A 44 percent probability for the U.S. Gulf Coast, from Florida's panhandle to Brownsville, Texas. The last century's average was 30 percent.
-- An above average major hurricane landfall risk in the Caribbean.
The two hurricane experts said current Atlantic basin conditions appear "quite favorable" for an active hurricane season, with surface temperature patterns being similar to those typically observed before very active seasons.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.