Hurricane Alex forms in the Atlantic

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Subtropical Storm Alex has become stronger far out over the Atlantic and is now threatening the Azores as a hurricane.

The storm's maximum sustained winds Thursday morning increased to 85 mph, making it the year's first hurricane.

Alex is forecast to move through the Azores Thursday night and Friday. A hurricane warning has been issued for the islands of Faial, Pico, Sao Jorge, Graciosa, and Terceira in the central Azores, and a tropical storm warning for the islands of Sao Miguel and Santa Maria in the eastern Azores.

Alex is centered about 490 miles south-southwest of the Azores and is moving toward the north-northeast near 20 mph.

LINK: Track Hurricane Alex on

According to the National Hurricane Center, Alex is the first hurricane to form in the month of January since 1938 and the first to occur in this month since Alice in 1955.

The Atlantic tropical season starts June 1.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.