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Alex becomes the first Atlantic hurricane to form in January since 1938

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A disturbance in the eastern Atlantic ocean gradually developed into Hurricane Alex at 10 a.m. EST Thursday, January 14 with winds of 85 m.p.h.  The center was located around 400 miles south of Faial Island in the central Azores.

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Hurricane warnings are in effect for the central Azores and tropical storm warnings are in effect for the eastern Azores.

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The forecast track brings the storm farther northward as the storm rapidly weakens over the next 48 hours.

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Even though ocean water temperatures are cooler than during hurricane season, the vertical structure of the atmosphere is unstable enough to allow the formation of Alex.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, but storms do occasionally occur outside of the season.  The season is just the period when conditions are the most favorable and historical statistics support the most likely period.

However, the formation of Alex in January is quite unusual.  The last time a hurricane formed in January was in 1938, which was 78 years ago.  The last time a hurricane existed in January was in 1955.  Hurricane Alice actually formed on December 30, 1954, but survived into January 1955.

You can track the latest on Alex with the CBS 6 Hurricane Tracker.

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