Cyclone Rene was weakening from a Category 3 storm with winds of 185 kilometers per hour (100 knots or 115 miles per hour) to a Category 2 storm with winds of 176 km/hr (95 knots or 109 mph) on February 14, 2010, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image.
The storm was moving southwest over the South Pacific Ocean, skirting the Samoa Islands. When this image was taken at 2:15 p.m. local time, Rene was over the island nation of Niue and was moving towards the Tonga Islands. As of February 15, Rene had cut phone lines and power in Tonga, but had not caused extreme damage, reported the Associated Press.
The highest resolution version of the image (250 meters per pixel) is provided above. The image is available in additional resolutions from the MODIS Rapid Response Team.