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Hurricane Alex

January 14, 2016

By Paul Homewood  


h/t John F Hultquist






Expect the usual alarmist hype.

From the Met Office:


Just two days ago we reported how Pali had become a very unusual out-of-season hurricane in the North Pacific. This afternoon another unusual hurricane has formed – this time in the North Atlantic. The hurricane season for both these regions usually runs from about June to November.

Earlier in the week a non-tropical area of low pressure developed near Bermuda. This was a depression primarily driven by the clash of cold air from the north and warm air from the south, similar to the kind of depressions we experience in the UK. Strong winds were recorded on Bermuda as the depression tracked to the east. Then in the last two days the depression has started to develop a concentrated area of storm clouds near its centre to the extent that the National Hurricane Center declared it to be ‘Subtropical Storm Alex’. Being ‘subtropical’ is a hybrid state for storms which exhibit some, but not all the characteristics of a fully tropical storm. Alex became the first subtropical storm to develop in the North Atlantic in January since 1978.

In the last day Alex has continued to develop a strong central mass of storm clouds rotating around a small eye and the National Hurricane Center has now designated it as a full blown hurricane. Alex is the first North Atlantic hurricane to exist in the month of January since Alice in 1955 and the first to actually form in the month of January since 1938.


Hurricane Alex at 1315 UTC on 14 January 2016 Image courtesy of the US Naval Research Laboratory

 Hurricane Alex at 1315 UTC on 14 January 2016        


Alex is currently situated about 1000 km to the west of the Canary Islands. It is expected to move northwards bringing stormy conditions to the Azores where hurricane warnings have been issued. Winds over 75 mph and 100 mm rain or more is possible. An area of high pressure is expected to develop over the UK this weekend which should keep Alex over the ocean and away from our shores. Alex is eventually expected to be absorbed into a larger depression in the Atlantic near the southern tip of Greenland on Sunday.



Note the references to 1938 and 1955!

Note also the tiny area affected by hurricane force winds. Sat as it is in the middle of the ocean, hundreds of miles from anywhere, how many such storms occurred without being spotted prior to the satellite era?



  1. john cooknell permalink
    January 14, 2016 5:19 pm

    I cannot believe this, will they be saying that in 1938 AGW caused a hurricane?

  2. January 14, 2016 7:18 pm

    The last diagram looks like an RBL Poppy. Just saying.

  3. January 14, 2016 9:24 pm

    When they hit the coast of the US in the winter it is usually the New England states and they are called nor-easters (northeasters).

  4. The Old Bloke permalink
    January 15, 2016 8:10 am

    The thing is, the best I can collate concerning wind speed on Alex is only 74 Km/h not 119 Km/h of which 119 Km/h is the lowest sustained wind speed for a class one hurricane (It has been like that for 5 days now) Has someone at the Met Office got their MPH and Km/h mixed up again? 74 Km/h is only 45 mph. The incorrect conversion would also explain why so many of our winter storms have arrived as nothing more than a stiff breeze. The Met Office have made this mistake before, and to me, it looks like they are doing it again. I have written to them before concerning the error of their ways.

  5. The Old Bloke permalink
    January 15, 2016 8:16 am

    But not unusual to have a “Hurricane” near the Azores:

  6. The Old Bloke permalink
    January 15, 2016 8:19 am

    remember this one:

    So what is so important that a so called “Hurricane” is developing in January?

  7. The Old Bloke permalink
    January 15, 2016 8:22 am

    And even this!

  8. Sara Hall permalink
    January 15, 2016 9:12 am

    Mid January 2011, we were part of a small group of yachts in the Bay of Bengal that blithely sailed into an atypical tropical storm that hadn’t been forecast.
    We contacted the Met Office to get details and they revealed that they had no idea what was going on in that part of the world because they received so little data. We supplied them with the necessary data as we were experiencing it and they “gratefully” built up a nice picture of a revolving storm system around us.
    This storm doesn’t appear in the records however because I suppose you just can’t do a forecast after the event.
    It was very real for us however and much stronger than the first official recorded storm of that season in early Feb, with winds of 50 knots, one yacht lost and several damaged and/or disabled.
    The oceans are vast and mostly empty of the shipping that would report such phenomena. I wonder how many other recent and significant weather events still get completely missed?

  9. The Old Bloke permalink
    January 15, 2016 3:17 pm

    Still have not seen the required 119 Km/h:,40.14,3000/loc=-26.002,40.069

  10. Green Sand permalink
    January 15, 2016 10:38 pm

    Alex appears to be an ex, possibly to be re-designated – ‘Average Scottish Summer’

  11. Course de Lion permalink
    January 16, 2016 2:15 pm

    Just looked at the Met Office forecast for midday Sunday – Alex seems to have disappeared?

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