Jun 2, 2010 1:32 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
Forecasters are predicting a very active hurricane season due to a much warmer Atlantic and cooling Pacific conditions.
Colorado State University researchers on Wednesday said they now expect 18 named storms to develop in the Atlantic, including 10 hurricanes. Five are expected to be major. That's up from 15 named storms, including eight hurricanes predicted in April.
Lead forecaster Phil Klotzbach says the storms could impact the clean up of the Gulf oil spill. If a hurricane tracks to the west of the spill, he says its counter-clockwise circulation could push the oil further toward the coast.
Researchers say there's a 51 percent chance of a major hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast, higher than the long-term average of 30 percent.