Rare January hurricane forms in the Atlantic
Just before 9am Thursday, Alex became the first hurricane to develop in the Atlantic basin during the month of January since 1938. It is also the first storm to have a name in January since Alice developed in December, but carried into January in 1955.
Packing 85mph winds, the storm has prompted hurricane warnings for parts of the Azores. Hurricane conditions including winds over 74mph, rain exceeding 5 inches and a dangerous storm surge are likely by Friday Morning.
Alex has completed a rare cold season transition from sub-tropical to tropical. Experts at the National Hurricane Center explain that despite water temperatures below 70 degrees, much colder air aloft has created the instability needed for the intensification.
The official forecast calls for Alex to rapidly weaken as it encounters even colder waters. The storm is expected to turn extra-tropical within the next 48 hours after crossing The Azores and racing northward into the Atlantic. There is absolutely no threat to the United States.
Alex crosses off the "A" name on the 2016 Tropical Cyclone Names list for the Atlantic Basin. Bonnie is the next name on the list.
Alex is the 77th off-season (December – May) storm in the Atlantic Hurricane Database. The most recent named storm to exist in January was in 2006 when Tropical Storm Zeta developed in December 2005 and carried into the new year.