If you thought a named tropical storm in May was early last year, how about one in January? Subtropical Storm Alex was named at 4PM EST by the National Hurricane Center, becoming the first named Atlantic storm to form in January since 1978. That was also an El Niño year, which may have influenced both storms’ extremely unusual formation. The video below was captured from our Storm Center earlier today.
Packing winds of 50 mph, Alex will be of no threat to the United States as it wanders north in the eastern Atlantic over the next few days. Alex may pass over or near the Azores Islands as a subtropical storm early Friday, and is then expected to transition back to extratropical status during the weekend.
The difference between an “extratropical” and a “subtropical” storm is in the amount of warm air at the core of the system. Over the last 24 hours, warmer air has wrapped into Alex’s center and convection has become better organized, thus the subtropical designation. In the next 24 to 48 hours, the system is expected to move over colder waters and resemble more of a mid-latitude low pressure system.
The Florida Public Radio Emergency Network and this station will continue to monitor future advisories with Subtropical Storm Alex in the coming days. The latest from the National Hurricane Center is displayed below.
Editors Note: UF Forecaster Dan Henry contributed to this report.