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Hurricane outlooks: Busy, busy, busy

The government concurs with private services: Nasty times ahead.

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.

Meteorologists at Accu-Weather; WSI Corp., a private service in Massachusetts, and Colorado State University have issued outlooks that look ominously similar.

Accu-Weather, WSI and Colorado State all are going with 16 named storms. Accu-Weather sees 8 hurricanes, and 4 majors; WSI, 9 hurricanes and five majors, and Colorado, 9 and 4.