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3 'Major' 'Canes Predicted In '04

Forecasters predicted three "major" storms this hurricane season, which begins next week.

Hurricane forecaster William Gray and his team at Colorado State University said Wednesday there would be 14 named storms for the season, with eight developing into full-blown hurricanes. The three "major" storms would have wind speeds of at least 111 mph.

Gray spoke Wednesday at Florida's 18th Annual Governor's Hurricane Conference.

On Tuesday, Gray is expected to unveil the probabilities of a tropical storm or hurricane hitting different regions in the country.

Southern Florida, for example, has a 44.3 percent probability that a storm with wind speeds of at least 40 mph will strike this year. The area includes Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Gray said the area has a 4.3 percent probability of being hit by a Category 3 hurricane or stronger.

A Category 3 hurricane has winds of at least 111 mph.

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