NOAA updates forecast for 2010 hurricane season

MIAMI, FL (WMBF) - The U.S. Government has updated its aggressive forecast for the 2010 hurricane season.

After releasing the new predictions late Thursday morning, officials believe 14 to 20 named storms could develop this season, with eight to twelve becoming hurricanes. Of those hurricanes predicted, NOAA experts forecast four to six could become major storms.

In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted this could be the busiest hurricane season since 2005, when hurricanes Katrina and Rita ripped along the same part of the Gulf Coast now coping with one of the world's worst oil spills.

NOAA scientists previously said they expected as many as 23 named tropical storms, including up to seven major hurricanes.

So far, three named storms have developed. Hurricane Alex made landfall June 30 in northern Mexico. Tropical Storm Bonnie forced crews drilling a relief well in the Gulf to evacuate last month.

Tropical Storm Colin dissipated earlier this week over the Atlantic.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.