FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Colorado State University hurricane forecaster William Gray and his team predict higher than average storm activity for the 2004 hurricane season, which begins June 1 and runs through November.

Gray expects 14 named storms to form in the Atlantic. Of these, eight will become hurricanes with three escalating into intense storms with winds of more than 111 mph.

That's up slightly from his first prediction last December when he called for 13 named storms, seven to become hurricanes.

Hurricane names for the 2004 season are Alex, Bonnie, Charley, Danielle, Earl, Frances, Gaston, Hermine, Ivan, Jeanne, Karl, Lisa, Matthew, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tomas, Virginie and Walter.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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