A hurricane in January

Posted at 10:19 AM, Jan 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-14 10:54:07-05

Hurricane Alex has formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. While Hurricane Alex is thousands of miles away from the United States, this is a good reminder that hurricanes can (and do) form out of hurricane season.

The Atlantic hurricane season is officially from  June 1st to November 30th. These dates were selected to include over 97% of tropical activity… but not 100%.

A few Q & As…

Have we ever seen a hurricane form in January before?

Yes.  Alex is the first Atlantic hurricane to form in January since 1938. In 1938 there was an unnamed hurricane  from January 3rd to 6th in the eastern Atlantic. (We didn’t start officially naming tropical systems until 1953)

What about a “carry over” storm?

Yes. In 1955, hurricane Alice occurred in January but formed in December of 1954. More recently, Tropical Storm Zeta from in December of 2005 and lingered into January of 2006.

Is Alex a 2015 or 2016 hurricane name?

2016. We start a new hurricane name list when we start a new year. So next up would be “Bonnie”. Side note: Storms that “carry over” do not get renamed. They keep their name from the list/year they formed.