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Hurricane predictions become a tough call

The difficult task of guessing what hurricane season will look like could be even more difficult this year for forecasters, who won't be able to rely on the relatively predictable forces known as El Niño and La Niña.

So far, the National Hurricane Center in Miami is predicting that the season that began Wednesday will be busier than normal, with as many as 18 named tropical storms, three to six of them major hurricanes.

"Since we don't have a strong signal toward El Niño or La Niña, there's somewhat more uncertainty in trying to determine how strong this season will be," said Dan Kottlowski, senior meteorologist at

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