Tropical Cyclone Clare is a moderately strong storm system in the Indian Ocean off the Australian coast. When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite observed the cyclone at 06:05 UTC (2:05 p.m. local time) on January 9, 2006, it was a well-developed system with peak sustained winds of around 100 kilometers per hour (60 miles per hour). The cyclone (the local term for a hurricane or typhoon) was about 200 kilometers offshore from Port Hedland in Western Australia, the nearest major city. Since then, the storm has weakened considerably, reaching landfall during the early morning hours of January 10, 2006. According to the Australian Weather Bureau, the storm will likely cause significant rainfall and very strong winds and possibly cause higher tides and flooding. Tropical cyclones are given names in order to reduce confusion when disseminating information about them, particularly in times of emergency. The World Meteorological Organization, a branch of the United Nations, maintains a list from which storm names are chosen. Tropical cyclones are large, rotating regions of wind, clouds, and thunderstorms formed over warm tropical oceans. While tropical cyclones are often highly destructive in terms of human lives and property, they form an important part of the biosphere by transferring heat energy from the tropics to the mid-latitudes and polar regions.
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