RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Researchers at North Carolina State University are predicting a relatively average hurricane season, but say even minor storms can still cause serious problems when they make landfall.
Professors Lian Xie and Montserrat Fuentes said Tuesday they expect between seven to 10 named storms in the Atlantic basin in 2012. That would be about normal for the region, which averages about 10.5 named storms annually.
The researchers say four to seven of the storms may grow strong enough to become hurricanes, with one to three having the chance to become a major hurricane.
They calculate there's only a 12 percent chance of a major hurricane, defined as Category 3 or above, will make landfall in the southeastern U.S. this year.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.
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