HOUSTON – Our first tropical storm of 2016 Alex has now become our first January forming hurricane in almost 80 years.
Hurricane Alex is now a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds around 85 mph and wind gusts over 105 mph. The storm is heading on a north-northeast track around 20 mph and is not expected to be a danger to any populated areas while it is still in hurricane status.
While the Atlantic hurricane season doesn’t begin officially until June 1, we have seen some storms develop during the typically colder months. Alex is the first hurricane to form in the month of January since 1938. In addition, the last hurricane to make it to the month of January was Hurricane Alice back in 1955.
The storm is zeroing in on the Azores Island chain and will bring 3-5 inches of rain, hurricane force winds and dangerous surf conditions today and tomorrow. Over the next 36 hours, the storm will head into much cooler North Atlantic waters which will help to cut off its fuel source: warmer ocean water. While Alex is forecast to move towards Iceland and Greenland by the weekend, it will weaken considerably and likely just become a big rain and snow maker for the northern Atlantic.