High-definition video from space shows the extreme power of Hurricane Florence

Florence turns beastly before hitting East Coast, plus Rowan storm forecast

The hurricane is expected to reach the coastlines of North Carolina and SC on Friday morning, with experts estimating that it will continue to grow in strength. Florence is expected to remain a Category 4 storm when it makes landfall.

NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold shared views from the International Space Station, which orbits around 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Earth. "While some weakening is expected to begin by late Thursday, Florence is still forecast to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane when it nears the US coast on Friday", the NHC said in an 11 a.m.

In another post, the astronaut marveled at Florence's size - reportedly 500 miles across - writing that the storm "is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide angle lens".

"Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you", the astronaut tweeted a few hours ago. He posted this image to Twitter on September 12, 2018. Forecasters said Florence could become an extremely risky major hurricane sometime Monday and remain that way for days. For the Carolinas, the NHC predicts a "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall".

Forecasters are also tracking two more hurricanes that have formed to the east of Florence: Hurricane Helene, which strengthened to a Category 2 storm off the west coast of Africa today, and Hurricane Isaac, a Category 1 storm now located roughly halfway between Florence and Helene. Helene will likely wear itself out before hitting land, the NHC said in its latest forecast, and Isaac, which has been downgraded from a hurricane, is on its way to the Caribbean, officials said.

At around 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) announced that Hurricane Florence had strengthened to a Category 4 storm. "It's chilling, even from space", tweeted German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who is aboard the space station.

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