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Jun 1, 2010 9:44 AM

2010 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins

MIAMI (AP) The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season has begun and comes at a time when oil from a spill off the Louisiana coast continues spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an active season, with as many as 23 named tropical storms.

An estimated eight to 14 storms could strengthen into hurricanes. Of those storms, three to seven could become major hurricanes.

While scientists seem to agree that the sprawling oil slick in the Gulf isn't likely to affect the formation of a storm, the real worry is that a hurricane might turn the millions of gallons of floating crude into a crashing black surf.

The first named storm of this Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30, will be called Alex.

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