The National Hurricane Center will begin issuing advisories today on Subtropical Storm Alex, which formed over the far eastern Atlantic Ocean.
The storm was given a 70 percent chance of development in a 1 p.m. update from hurricane center forecasters.
This is the first Atlantic storm to be named in January since 1978. It is only the fourth known storm to form this month in records dating back to 1851.
While Alex is a novelty, it’s no threat to the U.S. It’s current location is about 850 miles south southwest of the Azores. Maximum sustained winds are 50 mph with higher gusts.
Even hurricane forecasters are surprised that Alex, and a Pacific hurricane are occurring at the same time in January.
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Hurricane Pali. Pali is the earliest hurricane on record in the North Central Pacific.
On Alex, the National Hurricane Center says while the storm has organized, it will be moving over increasingly cooler waters during the next few days.
“Therefore, no increase in strength is shown for the next day or so,” the discussion notes.
Five January tropical cyclones have spun around in the Atlantic since 1900, according to Philip Klotzbach, a research scientist with Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science. They include 1954’s Hurricane Alice, which was born in December but lasted through Jan. 6, 1955, and Tropical Storm Zeta – the last in 2005’s super active season. Zeta came to life Dec. 30 and lived through the New Year, dissipating also on Jan. 6.
The earliest storm to form in January was an unnamed hurricane that developed on Jan. 3, 1938.