Even from outer space, Hurricane Florence looks monstrous.
The storm, which is expected to hit the East Coast late Thursday or early Friday, was filmed and photographed by cameras from NASA’s space station Wednesday morning.
“Ever stared down the gaping eye of a category 4 hurricane?” tweeted astronaut Alexander Gerst, who is abroad the space station. “It’s chilling, even from space.”
The photos posted by Gerst show Florence mid-churn, 400 kilometers directly above its eye. The swirling cloud and gusting winds around it are so enormous, the Earth’s blue is almost completely covered. The storm has a 500-mile wing span, according to USA Today.
In another post, Gerst warns East Coasters to “get prepared…this no-kidding nightmare is coming for you.”
While the hurricane was weakened to a Category 3 storm Wednesday afternoon by the National Hurricane Center (reported by CNN) a National Weather Service Wilmington, North Carolina spokesperson dubbed Florence “the storm of a lifetime.” Mandatory evacuation orders are forcing more than 1 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to seek shelter.
“I can’t emphasize enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge, and inland flooding with this storm,” added the spokesperson in the organization’s forecast.