NOAA's 2008 hurricane season forecast calls for another busy season this year, possibly influenced by a La Niña in the Pacific. 12-16 named storms, 6-9 hurricanes and 2-5 of them major hurricanes. "Busy season" is starting to seem pretty normal these days.
From the forecast:
The Climate Prediction Center's 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook calls a 90% probability of a near-normal or above-normal hurricane season. An above-normal season is most likely (65% chance), but there is also a 25% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. See NOAA's definitions of above-, near-, and below-normal seasons.
The likely (60%-70% chance) ranges of activity for 2008 (each of which is seen in about two-thirds of similar seasons in the historical record): are 12-16 Named Storms, 6-9 Hurricanes, and 2-5 Major Hurricanes. Most of this activity is expected during August through October, the peak months of the Atlantic hurricane season.
The second key predictor for the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season is the possibility that the La Niña-related patterns of tropical convection and winds will persist, and therefore may be conducive to increased Atlantic hurricane activity. As discussed by Gray (1984), La Niña favors more Atlantic hurricanes and El Niño favors fewer hurricanes. The combination of La NiÃ±ñn active hurricane era increases the probability of an above-normal season.