FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBSMiami) – Prepare for another active hurricane season.

Phil Klotzbach and William Gray, renowned Colorado State University climatologists, are predicting the fourth busy storm season in a row.

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According to their 2013 Atlantic hurricane season forecast, released Wednesday, they predict 18 named storms, including nine hurricanes, four major. The average season sees 12 storms, including six hurricanes, three with winds greater than 110 mph.

Klotzbach and Gray said the tropical Atlantic is unusually warm and El Niño, the atmospheric force that inhibits storm formation, is unlikely to emerge this season, which starts June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

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The climatologists put the odds of at least one major hurricane striking the U.S. East Coast at 48 percent – the long-term average is 31 percent. For the entire U.S. coastline, they put the odds at 72 percent – the long-term average is 52 percent.

Klotzbach and Gray, like other forecasters, rarely nail the number of storms, but they have accurately predicted when a season would be more or less active than normal in four of the past five years.

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