Millions of people in the path of Hurricane Florence are frantically preparing for a monster storm that's anticipated to make landfall sometime early Saturday morning.
The 500-mile-wide hurricane, which is barreling toward the U.S. east coast, is expected to make landfall on Thursday night, but then the storm's movement will slow to a crawl, meaning that some coastal areas will get as much as 24 hours of battering winds and rain. NASA is using its various high-flying tools to monitor the storm, taking precipitations measurements and NOAA's National Hurricane Center is using that data to forecast the storm's progress.
"Hurricane 1 category Isaac is on the way to the Small Antilles, weakened, and on September 13 will move into the Eastern Caribbean sea". Gerst wrote. "It's chilling, even from space".
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.
Search-and-rescue team from Maryland heads to SC before storm
The National Hurricane Center measured wind speeds of over 50 mph 100 miles out from Florence's center. The shift in the projected track had areas that once thought they were out of range anxious .
A view of Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station.
From his orbiting perch, Gerst offered Earthlings yet another warning about the hurricane's dangers: "Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you".
But Gerst also had a high-power telephoto lens handy to zoom in on the eye. "NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall", the space agency says.