Lightning makes Tropical Cyclone Bansi even more dramatic, lighting up the eye like an otherworldly porthole to another dimension.
Top image: Tropical Cyclone Bansi photographed from the International Space Station on January 17, 2014. Credit: NASA/ESA/Sam Cristoforetti
The storm is currently east-northeast of Mauritius and following a generally southeastern track. While producing strong, rough seas near the island, it isn't currently directly threatening coming ashore.
Tropical Cyclone Bansi and atmospheric airglow photographed from the International Space Station on January 17, 2014. Credit: NASA/ESA/Sam Cristoforetti
Although still unmistakably dramatic in appearance, the eye of the storm has been shrinking over the past few days, and the winds slowing down. Soon, it will weaken even more.
Tropical Cyclone Bansi imaged by the Terra satellite on January 15, 2014 when the eye was 85 kilometers wide. Image credit: NASA/MODIS
Tropical cyclones are just another name for a hurricane, but one that hasn't yet reached critical intensity and is in the Pacific Ocean, not the Atlantic. The storm is forecast to cross out of the tropics, becoming an extra-tropical storm and weakening as it transitions into the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean.
For the storm's current status, check the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) updates.