Alex became the first hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean in January in nearly 80 years Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center said.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the Azores as the storm headed north-northeast at 20 mph toward the island chain with winds of 85 mph. The storm is forecast to bring hurricane conditions to the central Azores by early Friday.

Alex is only the third hurricane ever recorded in January in the Atlantic Ocean, according to Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach.

It is the first hurricane to form in January since an unnamed storm in 1938. The last storm to occur in January was Alice in 1955. That storm formed in December 1954. Hurricane records began in 1851.

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