NASA sees Hurricane Florence open an evil-looking eye

Clark Diaz
September 13, 2018

Hurricane Florence rapidly formed into a powerful Category 4 storm Monday as it churned towards the U.S. East Coast.

At 1:55 a.m. EDT (0555 UTC) on September 10, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite looked at Hurricane Florence in infrared light.

"I have just been informed that this is one of the worst hurricanes that came to the East coast for many years".

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Florence was located near latitude 25.0 degrees north and longitude 60.0 degrees west. Florence is moving toward the west near 13 miles per hour (20 kph).

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Gerst and American astronaut Ricky Arnold captured the Category 4 storm and its swirling eye up close in images posted to Twitter this morning, emphasizing its epic scale and their thoughts for people in its path.

Hurricane Florence is a Category 4 storm headed for the US's East Coast and predicted to start affecting SC and North Carolina as early as Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm is on track to hit the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic region as early as Thursday, according to the hurricane centre.

European Home Company astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted photos taken 249 miles above the glance of the storm.

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Risky swells generated by Florence were expected to batter Bermuda early in the week, as well as parts of the U.S. The National Hurricane Center said Florence's maximum sustained winds on Friday night were estimated to be 60mph.

Nasa said the storm, now brewing above the Atlantic Ocean, had weakened to Category 1 strength, but is expected to strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane by the time it makes landfall on the United States mainland.

The element will lead to a "life-threatening storm surges, exceptionally strong heavy rains and destructive winds", they say.

NASA's Aqua satellite used its Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer to capture this data.

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