Hurricane Forecaster Sees 'Hell of a Year' Ahead Look out, Gulf Coast By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted May 26, 2010 6:05 PM CDT 34 comments Comments Fishermen temporarily employed by BP lay oil booms in the Gulf of Mexico in this May 2 file photo. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File) (Newser) – Just what the Gulf Coast needs: a prediction that the Atlantic is in for a "hell of a year" in hurricanes. A leading forecaster tells Reuters that a shift in weather patterns over the last month suggests the season will be busy. "The numbers are going to go up quite high," he said, without specifying a figure. The official forecast comes out June 2. The year could rival 2005, when 28 storms formed, including one named Katrina. The hurricane expert and a colleague from Colorado State University's storm research team dismissed speculation that the oil spill could decrease the severity of storms. If one comes from the western part of the Gulf, it could push large amounts of oil ashore, they said.