Forecasters are predicting a near-normal to slightly above normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, with between 12 to 15 named tropical storms.

Of those storms, between six to eight are forecast to become hurricanes and three to five to become major hurricanes, according to AccuWeather Global Weather Center.

The devastating and costly 2017 season, one of the most intense on record, spawned 17 tropical storms with Harvey, Irma and Maria as catastrophic standouts.

"This year may not be quite as active, but conditions are ripe for early season development in the Gulf of Mexico due to warmer than normal sea temperatures," said Dan Kottlowski, AccuWeather Atlantic hurricane expert.

The six-month Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. As the starting date nears, weather experts will update predictions and forecasts.

Alberto, Beryl and Chris are the first three names on the tropical storm list for 2018.


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