Hurricane Alex forms in eastern Atlantic thanks to warm waters

Posted January 13, 2016 3:56 p.m. EST
Updated January 14, 2016 9:55 a.m. EST

The National Hurricane Center named subtropical storm Alex, the first of the 2016 season.

Hurricane Alex has formed in the Atlantic, prompting a hurricane warning for the Azores.

The National Hurricane Center identified the first named storm of the 2016 hurricane season Wednesday, although the season doesn't officially start until June.

"It's very unusual," said WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel, "but the water temperatures are abnormally warm for this time of year."

On Thursday morning, Alex was located in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, 2,858 miles east of Raleigh, on Thursday with maximum sustained winds at 85 mph.

Alex is centered about 490 miles (790 kilometers) south of Faial Island in the central Azores and is moving north-northeast near 20 mph (31 kph).

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Alex will move near or over parts of the Azores on Friday.