A rare hurricane named Alex has formed in the Atlantic Ocean, marking the first such January post-hurricane-season storm since 1978. Or is it early for next hurricane season?
"The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, but storms have, on an occasional basis, formed before and after that date," The Weather Channel reported
According to meteorologists, Alex is "only the fourth known storm to form in January since records began in 1851."
Alex became a hurricane on Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center said, with winds of 85 mph. It is headed north-northeast at 20 mph, toward the Azores.
The Azores Meteorological Service issued a hurricane warning for several islands in the central Azores, as hurricane conditions are expected to spread over the islands by early Friday.
The storm will likely approach Greenland early Sunday morning.
Alex appears to have originally formed of the southeast coast of the U.S. around Jan. 7, and passed near Bermuda on its way toward Europe.
"Gale-force winds from a swirling body of low pressure that passed north of Bermuda caused sporadic power outages, and had many wondering if hurricane season had somehow come back," reported The Royal Gazette
"Several incoming flights were forced to turn back as gusts neared 60 mph, and the Bermuda Government had to issue an advisory assuring residents that the Causeway would remain open."
Sometimes subtropical storms — which have characteristics of both tropical and non-tropical storms — can evolve and become fully tropical over their lifespans, so scientists are keeping an eye on Alex.
Over the long term, a tropical storm forms before June about once every 10 years, and the same is true of tropical storm formation post-season, usually in December.
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