Forecasters warn: Up to 6 major storms this season

Satellite imagery of Hurricane Sandy off the U.S. East Coast, Sunday, October 28, 2012. NASA via Getty Images

COLLEGE PARK, Md. Federal forecasters are predicting yet another busy hurricane season.

Thursday's outlook calls for 13 to 20 named storms, seven to 11 that strengthen into hurricanes and three to six that become major hurricanes.

The prediction by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is more than what is considered an average Atlantic season.

Last year was the third-busiest on record with 19 named storms. Ten became hurricanes and two were major storms, with winds over 111 mph.

That included Sandy, which caused $50 billion in damage even though it lost hurricane status when it made landfall in New Jersey.

The University of Colorado released its own forecast last month, which said there was a 72 percent chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S. this season and a 50 percent increase in frequency of hurricanes compared to the 1980s and 1990s. CBS News contributor Michio Kaku, a physics professor at the City University of New York, explained this was due to the Atlantic Ocean heating up.

"This could be maybe a new normal, and we have to be prepared for Hurricane Sandy, 2.0," Kaku said on "CBS This Morning."

At a press conference announcing their predictions, officials from the NOAA also touted new equipment that will help improve hurricane forecasting by 10 to 15 percent, including a "supercomputer" going online in July.

The six-month season starts June 1.

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