Tropical Cyclone Wilma raged over the Pacific Ocean in late January 2011. At 8:00 p.m. New Caledonia time (9:00 UTC) on January 26, the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported that Wilma was located some 555 nautical miles (1,030 kilometers) east of Noumea, New Caledonia. Wilma packed maximum sustained winds of 115 knots (215 kilometers per hour) with gusts up to 140 knots (260 kilometers per hour).
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image at 12:45 p.m. New Caledonia time (1:45 UTC) on January 26, 2011. Wilma has a tightly coiled configuration and a well-defined eye. The storm hovers over the Pacific Ocean just south of Fiji.
According to the JTWC, Wilma would remain strong for a day or so, then would being to gradually weaken, thanks to greater vertical wind shear and lower sea surface temperatures.
- Joint Typhoon Warning Center. (2011, January 26). Tropical Cyclone 08P (Wilma) Warning. Accessed January 27, 2011.
This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.