At the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, the U.S. government's top climate agency predicted 2007 would see more hurricanes than normal.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Serviceâ€Â™s Climate Prediction Center in Silver Springs, Md., May 22 predicted the season â€Â” which starts June 1 and runs through the end of November â€Â” would bring 13-17 named storms with seven to 10 of those becoming hurricanes. Three to five of those hurricanes are expected to turn into major hurricanes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported.

The NOAA predicted the season has a 75% chance of having a more active than normal storm season.

The forecast was similar to an earlier season report that also forecast an above-normal number of storms. The Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project on April 3 predicted 17 named storms, nine of which would become hurricanes. Five are expected to form into major hurricanes.

During an average year, the East Coast and Gulf Coast regions experience 11 named storms, with six of them becoming hurricanes and two becoming major hurricanes.

Before an unexpected El Nino â€Â” which favors fewer hurricanes â€Â” developed last year, scientists predicted a higher than normal number of storms for the 2006 season. However, the year only saw 10 named storms with none of the five hurricanes striking the U.S.