Rare January hurricane weakens to tropical storm

MIAMI -- A rare January hurricane in the Atlantic weakened to a tropical storm Friday morning after moving over the Azores.

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Tropical Storm Alex's maximum sustained winds had decreased to near 110 kph Friday morning and was moving away from the Azores, where it brought rain, high waves and wind. The storm was expected to lose tropical characteristics later in the day, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Alex was centred about 55 kilometres north of Terceira in the central Azores and is moving north near 44 kph.

As a hurricane, Alex was the first hurricane to form in the month of January since 1938.

In the Azores, schools and government offices on several islands remained closed, and officials told people to stay indoors. Azores regional airline SATA cancelled morning flights.

The archipelago has a population of around 250,000.



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