A tropical storm in January?

Published: Jan. 7, 2016 at 11:25 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 8, 2016 at 2:19 AM EST
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. - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)  The National Hurricane Center is now giving a strong storm system off shore a 30 percent chance of becoming a named tropical or subtropical storm. 

The storm system is currently located about 400 miles east of the South Carolina coastline and steadily moving away from the east coast.  The system is producing winds over 50 mph and very rough surf.  However, the storm system is moving over very warm waters and may continue to strengthen in the next 48 hours. With the large storm passing over very warm water, it may start to acquire some tropical characteristics. 

Named tropical systems are rare in January but not totally unheard of.  January tropical systems have formed in the Atlantic in 1938, 1951, 1954, 1978, and most recently in 2006.  Usually, the winter-time tropical systems are classified as "subtropical."

That means they have characteristics of both tropical storms and more winter-like storms or nor'easters.

Should the storm strengthen enough to get a name, it would get the first name on 2016 list of names. That name would be 'Alex'.

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