Tropical Cyclone Boloetse
Tropical cyclone Boloetse was charging through the Mozambique Channel, in between Madagascar and the east coast of Africa when this image was acquired on February 3, 2006.
The storm reached a peak of about 90 knots or 104 miles per hour (1 knot = 1.15 mph) and was projected to weaken into a tropical storm by February 5. The storm has already crossed Madagascar once as a weaker tropical storm; it then regained strength from the warm waters within the Mozambique Channel, where it reformed to have another go at the island.
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; a tropical cyclone (of sufficient strength) in the Caribean basin is called a hurricane.
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.