NASA has revealed a bone-chilling view from the International Space Station of Hurricane Florence just off the United States east coast in the Atantic Ocean. "It's chilling, even from space", said Alexander Gerst, an astronaut with the European Space Agency who now lives on ISS, on Twitter.
"Ever stared down the gaping eye of a category 4 hurricane?" he said. "It's chilling, even from space", he wrote in another tweet.
Hurricane Florence will be the first Category 4 storm to make a direct hit on North Carolina in more than 50 years and with sustained winds of 130mph, it's already pushing a storm surge and rain ahead of it. That also means that colossal weather systems like Hurricane Florence are easy to observe as the spacecraft cruises along.
In addition to the wide shots, some of Gerst's photos are zoomed-in views showing a look nearly directly down into Florence's giant eye.
Quick on Florence's heels, two more powerful storms are crossing the Atlantic, tracked by NASA satellites: Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Helene. "The crew of @Space_Station is thinking of those who will be affected".
To put things into perspective, the space agency notes that Hurricane Florence spans a distance equal to the one between Baltimore in Maryland and Boston in MA.
From the International Space Station, Alexander Gerst warns the East Coast to get ready for Hurricane Florence in this photo posted to Twitter on September 12, 2018: "This is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you". "NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall", the space agency says.