NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Jasmine on Feb. 8, 2012 as it was passing between Vanuatu and New Caledonia. NASA imagery showed Jasmine had a 20 nautical mile-wide eye.
Aqua passed over Jasmine at 0225 UTC on February 8, 2012 (Feb. 7 at 9:25 p.m. EST). The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument captured a true color image of the storm. In the image, Jasmine's eye as visible as it travels between Vanuatu, that lies to the north of it, and New Caledonia that lies to Jasmine's south. Satellite data shows that the eye is 20 nautical miles (23 miles/37 km) in diameter and bands of thunderstorms feeding into the center of circulation.
Later on February 8 at 0600 UTC (1 a.m. EST), Cyclone Jasmine had maximum sustained winds near 115 knots (132 mph/213 kph). It was located near 20.6 South and 169.4 East, about 185 nautical miles (213 miles/~343 km) east-northeast of Noumea, New Caledonia. It was moving to the southeast at 12 knots (~14 mph/~22 kph).
In Vanuatu, a blue alert was in effect on February 8 for the Tafea province and now only applies to Aneityum. Warnings in New Caledonia cover the entire territory until 6 a.m. local time, and are under a yellow pre-alert.
Forecasters believe that Jasmine may have reached its peak wind speed and expect it to slowly weaken over the remainder of the week.
Explore further: Long-term warming, short-term variability: Why climate change is still an issue