Space Station astronaut captures mammoth Hurricane Florence from directly above

Pablo Tucker
September 16, 2018

"So right now, we're thinking it's going to be tropical-storm-force conditions for the Beaufort area, but I would not rule out the potential for hurricane force winds or hurricane force conditions for Beaufort County".

Storm surge warnings are in effect for a number of areas where the water could easily reach 10 feet above land, explained Athena Masson, a meteorologist and hurricane specialist now based in Canada. "It's a big one", he said.

"But despite that, bad things can happen when you are talking about a storm this size", he added.

The massive storm was captured on a high-definition camera from the International Space Station as it barreled across the Atlantic Ocean with its 130 miles per hour winds.

"This one really scares me", said National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham.

The images, captured from249 miles above the storm, captured Florence as it draws close to North Carolina's coast.

Speaking about the Wilmington area and its surrounding beaches in North Carolina, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official said the inland flooding threat was "extreme".

Scientists are trying to get the most accurate information to forecast exactly where the storm will go.

"The latest tracking report from the National Hurricane Center released at 8 p.m. showed the eye of Florence about 335 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina".

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, concerned the storm would bring its devastation south, issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in his state.

Masters said there's a tug-of-war between two clear skies high pressure systems - one off the coast and one over MI - and the more the Great Lakes one wins, the more southerly Florence will be.

"It was located farther north in the Atlantic than any other storm to ever hit the Carolinas, so what we're forecasting is unprecedented", said AccuWeather's Marshall Moss, vice president of forecasting and graphics operations.

"If I need to evacuate I can go to my son's house", Sparks said as he carted a load of water bottles to his auto.

- The life-threatening rain may last for days, flooding tens of thousands of structures, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday. Many major roads and arteries have reversed traffic flow to help residents evacuate quickly. "Don't bet your life on riding out a monster", he said.

"I rode out Hugo", Miller said of a 1989 hurricane that caused widespread damage.

Five sites slated for closing that are closest to the coast have lower water levels and "can hold significant rainfall", Erin Culbert, a spokeswoman, said in an email. "We have everything. We're ready".

National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, said the latest models show Florence reaching a "ridge" building over the eastern US, stalling and then moving into SC. "Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you", Gerst writes.

All three states ordered mass evacuations along the coast.

There has been a dramatic change in the projected path of the first hurricane of the season expected to make landfall on the United States.

Other reports by iNewsToday