Last update: August 23rd, 2019 at 12:15 pm
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.
Credit: NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.