Hurricane Florence looks absolutely wild from the International Space Station

James Marshall
September 13, 2018

From above, it nearly looks serene.

Hurricane Florence rapidly formed into a powerful Category 4 storm Monday as it churned towards the U.S. East Coast.

Gerst and American astronaut Ricky Arnold captured the Category 4 storm and its swirling eye up close in images posted to Twitter this morning, emphasizing its epic scale and their thoughts for people in its path. Forecasters said Florence could become an extremely risky major hurricane sometime Monday and remain that way for days. Since reliable record-keeping began more than 150 years ago, North Carolina has only been hit by one Category 4 hurricane: Hazel, with 210 km/h winds in 1954. "T$3 his is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you". "It's chilling, even from space", tweeted German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who is aboard the space station. Gerst wrote. "It's chilling, even from space".

Astronaut Alexander Gerst provides a view straight down into the eye of Hurricane Florence, headed toward the U.S. Southeast as of September 12, 2018.

"Cameras outside the International Space Station captured dramatic views of rapidly strengthening Hurricane Florence at 8:10 a.m. EDT Sept. 10 as it moved in a westerly direction across the Atlantic, headed for a likely landfall along the eastern seaboard of the US late Thursday or early Friday", NASA explains in a new blog post.

It's the latest advisory - albeit from a different perspective - that residents from Maryland to Georgia should be prepared for a unsafe storm.

The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia declared states of emergency far ahead of the approaching storm.

A day later, he issued a dire warning to anyone who is flouting the evacuation order, telling them that "you're putting your life in danger" and that Wednesday "is the last day to travel".

Due to the storm's enormous size and power, it's been a recent - if not frightening - muse for astronaut photography.

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