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Alex upgraded to rare January hurricane

Only 4th January Storm on Record in 165 years

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The calendar may say January but the tropics are alive and well as Alex is upgraded to 2016's first hurricane.

For only the fourth time in 165 years, a tropical storm has developed in the Atlantic during the month of January and according to Michael Lowry, hurricane specialist at the Weather Channel, it is the earliest storm to form in 78 years!

Other January storms are all unnamed and formed in 1938, 1951, 1978 and now 2016. All those storms remained out in the open Atlantic and did not affect any land areas. Below are the tracks of all known January storms provided by Dr. Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University.

Other notable mentions include Hurricane Alice, which formed on December 30th and lasted into January, moving through the Leeward Islands and causing more than half a million dollars in damage before dissipating in early January. In more modern times, Hurricane Zeta formed on December 30th, 2005 and reached it's peak strength on January 2nd, 2006 making Zeta, along with Alice the only two hurricanes on record to span two calendar years.

Hurricane Alex has a well defined eye. The hurricane is moving in the general direction of the Azores islands where hurricane warnings are now in effect. Winds gusting to 100 mph. 

While Alex doesn't pose any threat to the USA, it is interesting to note that this is the first time in recorded history that the National Hurricane Center and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center are tracking storms at the same time, that according to Eric Blake.