As millions of people in the Carolinas and Virginia prepare for what could be historic damage from Hurricane Florence, people in space are keeping an eye on it from above.
A new high-definition video and photos taken from the International Space Station show the size of scope of Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm heading toward landfall in the Southeast U.S. later this week.
According to Wednesday morning’s update from the National Hurricane Center, Florence could park off the coast of the Carolinas on Friday, bringing damaging winds and even extreme storm surges to coastal areas.
And even from space, Hurricane Florence looks terrifying.
“Ever stared down the gaping eye of a Category 4 hurricane? It’s chilling, even from space,” European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst said in a tweet on Wednesday.
NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold also captured some incredible images of the storm from the windows of the space station.
Satellites orbiting Earth have also been keeping tabs on Florence from above.
Those mechanical eyes in the sky can track rainfall, the track of the storm, and other metrics helpful for forecasters keeping people updated on the ground.
Hurricane hunter aircraft also fly through the storm, taking data on wind speed to figure out exactly how intense Florence is at any given moment.
“Some strengthening is forecast through tonight. While some weakening is expected to begin by late Thursday, Florence is still forecast to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it nears the U.S. coast on Friday,” the NHC said in an 11 a.m. update on Wednesday.
“Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km).”