Hurricane Alex was a very unusual cyclone that occurred in January 2016. It was the first January Atlantic hurricane since 1938, and only the 2nd one on record.
The extratropical cyclone that would eventually give birth to Alex formed, as mentioned, near the Bahamas on January 5. Moving towards the northeast, it intensified into a hurricane force low as it passed Bermuda on January 7, when it was assessed as having a low potential for tropical cyclone development. By early on January 10, the system had a notable increase in convection, but due to it being connected to a frontal system, it wasnt upgraded to a subtropical storm at the time, but its chances of undergoing tropical or subtropical cyclogenesis were raised to the medium category. The following day, the precursor low began to detach from its frontal system in the form of a cutoff low as it turned more east-northeast, and a high chance of tropical or subtropical cyclone formation was raised to the high category.
It is estimated that Subtropical Storm Alex developed about midway between Bermuda and the Lesser Antilles at 1800 UTC on January 12 after another burst of convection and an increase in organisation occurred. The subtropical storm weakened the following day due to inner core structural changes, before intensifying again later that day. Based on my observations during the storm, it is estimated that Alex transitioned into a fully tropical storm at 0000 UTC on January 14, before intensifying into a hurricane several hours later, and peaking with 90 mph winds by 1800 UTC, besides cool (20-22C) waters underneath the cyclones center of circulation.
On January 15, the combination of cooler sea surface temperatures and steadily increasing shear caused the start of an extratropical transition, and Alex weakened to a tropical storm around 1200 UTC that day as its wind field began to expand, before becoming extratropical again several hours later as it sped towards the northwest, eventually being absorbed by a larger low near Greenland on January 17.
As a tropical cyclone, Alex caused 1 fatality, and minimal damages. The cyclone passed through the Azores without making landfall during the afternoon (UTC) of January 15.
|SSHWS category||1-min winds||Pressure||Location||Date and time||ACE generated|
|Subtropical Storm||60 mph||988 mbar||25.1N, 35.9W||12/01/2016 1800 UTC||0.25|
|Subtropical Storm||60 mph||988 mbar||25.4N, 34.7W||13/01/2016 0000 UTC||0.25|
|Subtropical Storm||50 mph||989 mbar||25.6N, 33.6W||13/01/2016 0600 UTC||0.2025|
|Subtropical Storm||50 mph||990 mbar||26.0N, 32.5W||13/01/2016 1200 UTC||0.2025|
|Subtropical Storm||60 mph||989 mbar||26.7N, 31.4W||13/01/2016 1800 UTC||0.25|
|Tropical Storm||65 mph||988 mbar||27.9N, 30.4W||14/01/2016 0000 UTC||0.3025|
|Category 1 hurricane||75 mph||985 mbar||29.3N, 29.6W||14/01/2016 0600 UTC||0.4225|
|Category 1 hurricane||85 mph||982 mbar||30.8N, 28.7W||14/01/2016 1200 UTC||0.5625|
|Category 1 hurricane||90 mph||979 mbar||32.5N, 28.0W||14/01/2016 1800 UTC||0.64|
|Category 1 hurricane||80 mph||983 mbar||33.9N, 27.6W||15/01/2016 0000 UTC||0.49|
|Category 1 hurricane||75 mph||986 mbar||35.4N, 27.2W||15/01/2016 0600 UTC||0.4225|
|Tropical Storm||65 mph||988 mbar||38.0N, 27.0W||15/01/2016 1200 UTC||0.3025|