The 2016 hurricane season has started early in the Atlantic. The official start of hurricane season isn’t until June 1st, but a rare start has caught the eyes of many Meteorologists on social media. Subtropical Storm Alex formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean late Wednesday afternoon given the 2016 hurricane season the earliest start since 1978. Alex became a hurricane Thursday morning at 9 AM. As of 5 AM Friday morning, Alex is roughly 130 miles south of the Azores. The Azores are a group of islands located roughly 850 miles west of Portugal. Sustained winds are estimated to be near 75 mph with tropical force winds extending 205 miles and hurricane force winds extending 25 miles. Alex is forecast to more N and eventually NW in the eastern Atlantic over the next few days. Azores should monitor the movement of Alex closely as it could bring strong winds and heavy rains to the islands Friday. You can see the projected path below. According to the National Hurricane Center, Alex is the first tropical/subtropical storm to form in the Atlantic since January 1978 and first hurricane to form since 1938! This marks the 4th known storm to form in January since 1851. On average, once ever 10 years a tropical system forms before the official start of Hurricane Season. Just last year, Tropical Storm Ana formed in early May of 2015.
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