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(CBS) — Hurricane researchers at Colorado State University are predicting a slightly above-average 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

A primary factor in their forecast is the relatively low likelihood of a significant El Niño.

The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team is predicting 14 named storms this season, seven of which will become hurricanes. They expect three of those hurricanes to reach major hurricane status, meaning sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.

An average season produces 12 named storms.

Researchers are comparing this year’s hurricane season to 1960, 1967, 1996, 2006 and 2011.

“The years 1960, 1967 and 2006 had near-average Atlantic hurricane activity, while 1996 and 2011 were both above-normal hurricane seasons,” said Phil Klotzbach, research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science and lead author of the report.

When Superstorm Sandy hit nearly five years ago, it was considered a 500-year storm, and experts are concerned the Tri-State area’s coastline is no more prepared for such storms now.

Researchers say there is a 63 percent chance for a major hurricane to strike the U.S. coastline this season. The average for the last century is 52 percent.

2018 Atlantic Tropical Storm Names

Starting in 1953, the National Hurricane Center originally named all tropical storms. While you can still find a list storm names on their website, the names are now maintained and updated by the World Meteorological Organization.

Each list of names is used in a six-year rotation. That means this year’s list will be used again in 2024. However, if a storm is considered too deadly or damage caused by a storm deemed too costly, the name is no longer be used for reasons of sensitivity. In those cases, a name is replaced during an annual World Meteorological Organization meeting.

Here are the names of all the Atlantic tropical storms for 2018:

Alberto
Beryl
Chris
Debby
Ernesto
Florence
Gordon
Helene
Isaac
Joyce
Kirk
Leslie
Michael
Nadine
Oscar
Patty
Rafael
Sara
Tony
Valerie
William

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