Astronauts in space just saw all 3 threatening hurricanes lurking in the Atlantic Ocean

Satellite imagery shows hurricanes Florence, Isaac, and Helene from space on September 10, 2018. CIRA/RAMMB; GOES-16/NOAA
  • Hurricane Florence is predicted to slam into the US East Coast as a “major” storm.
  • Two other hurricanes – Isaac and Helene – have also formed in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Astronauts in space aboard the International Space Station recently flew over all three hurricanes and photographed two of them.
  • A video camera on board the space station also recorded footage of Hurricane Florence.

Hurricane Florence is blowing sustained winds of up to 130 mph as it barrels toward the US East Coast as a Category 4 storm.

Warm Atlantic Ocean waters are adding to Florence’s strength, and computer models predict that the storm will make landfall Thursday in North Carolina or South Carolina as a major hurricane. Its impacts may be felt much deeper in the US, including in most of Virginia.

“Today is the day to get prepared all along the East Coast!” the National Weather Service tweeted on Monday morning. “Don’t get complacent just because you live inland! Florence is forecast to bring devastating rainfall and flooding from the coast to the Appalachians.”

In addition, the National Hurricane Center said that it will likely issue watches for “life-threatening storm surge” across three states.

Read More:
What that Category 4 label tells us about Hurricane Florence’s strength

But Hurricane Florence is not alone in the Atlantic Ocean.

As astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) saw first-hand on Monday morning, hurricanes Isaac and Helene are trailing behind Florence, making for a trio of powerful storms.

What the hurricanes look like to astronauts in space

Ricky Arnold, a NASA astronaut aboard the space station, was in the right place at the right time to photograph two of the giant storms from about 250 miles above Earth.

“Hurricane #Florence this morning as seen from @Space_Station,” Arnold tweeted on Monday. “A few moments later, #Isaac & the outer bands of #Helene were also visible.”

Below are some of the photos that Arnold (who recently helped track down a hole in the ISS) took of hurricanes Florence and Isaac from his lofty perch.

Hurricane Florence

The storm is currently between 500-600 miles wide and gaining strength.

A robotic arm of the ISS drifts in the middle of the image, and solar panels are seen to the right:

Hurricane florence atlantic from international space station iss ricky richard arnold nasa

Arnold also shot the image below of Florence from directly above the storm.

The object at the bottom-right of the image is a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which astronauts use to get to and from the ISS:

Hurricane florence atlantic from international space station iss ricky richard arnold nasa

In addition to Arnold’s photos, a camera outside the space station recorded video footage of Hurricane Florence while flying overhead.

The clip was taken early Monday morning and hours before the storm was upgraded in strength.

Hurricane Isaac

Isaac is a Category 1 hurricane that’s blowing winds between 74-95 mph. The storm is targeting the southern Caribbean region and may bring a storm surge of up to 5 feet.

A section of solar panels partly blocks the view of Earth at the top-right of the image:

Hurricane Isaac atlantic from international space station iss ricky richard arnold nasa

Hurricane Helene

Arnold didn’t photograph hurricane Helene, but said he saw its outer bands. Helene is a Category 2 hurricane that’s blowing winds between 96-110 mph. The storm may turn northward in the coming days and bring a storm surge of up to 8 feet.

Any of these storms could strengthen into more powerful cyclones in the coming days.

Stay updated on our Hurricane Florence coverage here, and please prepare yourself now if any of these storms threaten an area where you live.

This story has been updated with new information.

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified a photo of hurricane Florence as one of hurricane Helene; astronaut Ricky Arnold did not share a photo of the latter storm on Twitter.