Cyclone Zelia was nearing its peak strength when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image at 10 a.m. (00:00 UTC) on January 16, 2011. At the time, Zelia had winds of 85 knots (157 kilometers per hour or 98 miles per hour), making it a Category 2 storm. Zelia intensified slightly through the day, and then quickly degraded as it moved south over cooler waters.
When this image was taken, Zelia was over the Coral Sea, immediately east of Queensland, Australia. The small storm moved rapidly southeast, away from Australia. By January 17, Zelia was over the South Pacific Ocean near New Zealand’s North Island, where it was forecast to bring heavy rain.