Jaw-dropping images of Hurricane Florence from space

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

The International Space Station captured photos and video of massive Hurricane Florence spiraling over the Atlantic, and those images captivated people on social media.

"Watch out, America!" German astronaut Alexander Gerst wrote on Twitter this morning (Sept. 12).

Gerst photographed the storm 400 kilometers, or 248 miles, above the eye.

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".

NASA also posted an incredible video of Hurricane Florence viewed from space. "The crew of @Space_Station is thinking of those who will be affected".

The US National Hurricane Centre has warned that Hurricane Florence will bring "life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding" to North and SC.

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Another view from astronaut Alexander Gerst of the eye of Hurricane Florence, posted to Twitter on September 12, 2018. It is estimated that the wind speed in the eye of the hurricane reaches 200 km/h. For the Carolinas, the NHC predicts a "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall".

NASA shared an image of the giant storm two days ago.

Florence is now a powerful Category 3 storm with winds of 125mph, and is expected to strengthen before making landfall along the Carolina coast later this week. "It's chilling, even from space", Gerst tweeted earlier today.

NASA called the view - captured by cameras on the International Space Station - "stark and sobering".

Astronaut Alexander Gerst provides a view straight down into the eye of Hurricane Florence, headed toward the U.S. Southeast as of September 12, 2018.

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