2018 Tropical outlook released by Colorado State University
You may be asking, "Why is Colorado State issuing tropical forecasts?" Truth be told, they've been doing this for about 30 years now. They've seen improvement in these kinds of forecasts, and there are many who look forward to/rely on them (even this early on).
This year, the scientists at Colorado State University are predicting a slightly above-average tropical season. Philip J. Klotzbach and Michael M. Bell cite the eastern Pacific transitioning out of a weak La Niña phase, currently warm waters over the western tropical Atlantic and cooler waters over the eastern and northern Atlantic in their outlook. Granted, there is still a large amount of uncertainty with regard to ocean temperatures by the peak of hurricane season. This at least gives them a head start. Based off of climatology, they can use these tools to their advantage when creating these outlooks.
You can read their full outlook here, and watch for their updated forecasts throughout the next few months.
As far as names for this year's storms, you can find those in the picture below.
Side note: why are storms named? It's easier to remember, and therefore easier to study them for the future. If we were to ask, "Remember Storm #11 from 2005?" you probably wouldn't know. However, if we were to ask, "Remember Hurricane Katrina?" Now, you remember!