The Unusual January Hurricane Formation at the Atlantic Ocean
The first hurricane of 2016 was seen Thursday. Hurricane Alex formed at the southern portion of Azores islands on the afternoon of Wednesday, which traveled toward the islands.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Alex made landfall in the Azores early Friday as tropical storm. It has recently transitioned to a non-tropical low pressure system northeast of the Atlantic Ocean.
The eye of the storm made landfall on Terceira, an island in central Azores, at around 9:15 in the morning AST Friday, having a maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour. Alex would move towards Nova Scotia before it will reach Greenland. It is currently classified as Category 1, and will remain so for the rest of the weekend.
Hurricane Alex and History
Alex is the second hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean during the month of January. The first hurricane was formed in 1955 and was given the name Alice. Alice initially became a hurricane on December 31st of 1954, and remained a hurricane until early January 1955.
On record, Alex is the strongest January hurricane as it peaked at an estimated 85 miles per hour, which surpassed Hurricane Alice.
Atlantic Hurricane Season
The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts from the 1st of June to the 30th of November; but storms occasionally formed before and after that dates. According to the National Hurricane Center, the formation of Alex on Wednesday made it the first ever tropical or subtropical storm to form since January 1978.
Long-term average records tell us that about once every 10 years, a tropical storm would form before June, often in the month of May. This included Tropical Storm Ana which started as a subtropical stormin early May 2015, which eventually turned into a tropical system. Likewise, about 1 in 10 years, a tropical storm forms in December.