Fantala a strong Category 5 just north of Madagascar.
Powerful Tropical Cyclone Fantala was churning in the western Indian Ocean Monday evening (U.S. time) with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, according to the U.S. military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center, making it equivalent in strength to a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Fantala has since weakened as it turns back southeast well off the north coast of Madagascar. The core of Fantala's strongest winds are expected to stay north of Madagascar as the cyclone takes a weird southeast, then west-northwest path, though northern parts of the island could see bands of rain and gusty winds early this week.
This collection of satellite images illustrates the power of Fantala as a strong Category 4 and Category 5 just north of Madagascar.
Our first image from NOAA shows Fantala as a Category 5 Monday morning (U.S. time).