Hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University are predicting above-average activity in the Atlantic next year, with 14 named storms, including seven hurricanes, three of them major.
The 50-year average is 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 major hurricanes.
Researchers William Gray and Phil Klotzbach issued their extended-range forecast for 2009 on Wednesay.
Klotzbach says the forecast is based on factors including warm Atlantic sea surface temperatures and the likely absence of El Nino conditions.
Gray has been forecasting hurricanes for more than two decades.
His predictions are watched closely by emergency responders and others.