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MIAMI (AP) — Forecasters say a rare, out-of-season subtropical storm has formed far out in the Atlantic Ocean and could threaten the Azores in the coming days.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Wednesday that Subtropical Storm Alex could produce powerful winds and heavy rains over the Azores later this week. It's only the fourth time a storm has formed in January since 1851, according to the Hurricane Center's Facebook page.
The Azores could see 3 to 5 inches of rain through Friday, with some areas getting as much as 7 inches. Forecasters warn this could lead to flash floods and mudslides. Gale-force winds are expected to reach the archipelago by late Thursday.
The storm's maximum sustained winds were at 50 mph (85 kph) on Wednesday afternoon. It was moving northeast at 14 mph (22 kph) and was centered about 785 miles (1,260 kilometers) south of the Azores.
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