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Researchers say computer model predicts active hurricane season

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 3 (UPI) -- Florida researchers who created a hurricane-predicting computer model with an excellent track record say they're forecasting a season of above-average activity.

Scientists at the Florida State University Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies have released their fifth annual Atlantic hurricane forecast for the season that opened Saturday and runs through Nov. 30.

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This year's forecast calls for a 70 percent probability of 12 to 17 named storms with five to 10 of the storms developing into hurricanes, a Florida State release said Monday.

The researchers' forecast is slightly less than the official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast of a 70 percent probability of 13 to 20 named storms with seven to 11 of those developing into hurricanes.

"The forecast mean numbers are identical to the observed 1995 to 2010 average named storms and hurricanes and reflect the ongoing period of heightened tropical activity in the North Atlantic," Florida State research scientist Tim LaRow said.

The Florida computer model is one of only a handful of numerical models in the world being used to study seasonal hurricane activity, the university's release said.

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