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FORT COLLINS, CO. (AP) – Weather forecasters at Colorado State University are predicting an above-average hurricane season for the Atlantic Ocean.

The forecast issued Wednesday is a slightly scaled-back version of the one released in early December.

Researchers now predict 16 named storms in the Atlantic, instead of 17. Nine of those storms are expected to turn into hurricanes, five of them major.

Forecasters say the combination of warm surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic combined with neutral surface temperatures in the Pacific will make for an active season.

No hurricanes have made landfall in the United States in nine of the last 11 years. Forecaster William Gray says residents can’t expect that trend to continue.

Online: http://bit.ly/hiPUUB

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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