If the 2013 hurricane season turns out to be a dud, no one will complain, but a whole lot of experts will have been wrong.
In an outlook quite similar to that of major commercial services, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the odds strongly favor a quite active season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
The NOAA forecast mentions 13 to 20 named storms, with winds of 39 m.p.h. or more, in the Atlantic Basin, with 7 to 11 becoming hurricanes, with winds of 74 m.p.h. or higher.
The scariest part of the forecast in our view is the 3 to 6 "major" hurricanes, those with winds of 111 m.p.h., and the ones that tend to do themost damage.
The seasonal averages are 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 majors.
NOAA cited favorable atmospheric conditions, which include a brisk west African Monsoon, and warmer than normal sea-surface temerpatures.