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Tropical Cyclone Gillian was rapidly intensifying when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image on March 23, 2014. At the time the image was acquired (6:45 UTC), the storm had winds of about 200 kilometers per hour (130 miles per hour or 110 knots), making it the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane. Within a few hours, Gillian’s winds would max out at 260 kilometers per hour (160 miles per hour or 140 knots), Category 5 status. The storm moved south over the Indian Ocean without threatening land.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.