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LAKELAND (CBSMiami) — U.S. government forecasters have released their 2018 prediction for how many hurricanes and tropical storms they expect to form over Atlantic and Caribbean waters in the next six months.

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The six-month Atlantic hurricane season officially starts June 1.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration outlook is:

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  • 10-16 named storms (top winds of at least 39 mph)
  • 5-9 hurricanes (top winds of at least 74 mph)
  • 1-4 major hurricanes (category 3 or higher)

These numbers are based on probabilities of a 40% chance of a near normal hurricane season, 35% chance of an above normal season and 25% of below normal activity, according to NOAA

Overall, the experts predicts this hurricane season to be near normal or above normal levels.

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NOAA predicted that 2017 would be an above-average season, and it certainly was: A trio of devastating hurricanes — Harvey, Irma and Maria — ravaged Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and many Caribbean islands. Overall, last year saw 17 named storms, including 10 hurricanes.

(CBS4)