Hurricane Florence has strengthened to a Category 4 storm, and Virginia and the Carolinas especially are wincing at the news.
While those on the ground have their eye on evacuation, stocking up on supplies and preparing their homes, the view of Florence from above is much different.
Videos and images from NASA and the International Space Station show the massive storm and its eye. The visuals are both beautiful and intimidating.
When you see the sheer size of the storm now, the forecast for intense rains and winds for 24 hours on the coast makes sense — and might even be optimistic.
A look at Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station. (Photo: Alexander Gerst/ESA)
There's still a possibility Hurricane Florence becomes a Category 5 storm, as many forecast models show that the storm may stall and linger off the coast of North Carolina.
Once it hits land, the storm is expected to last from late Thursday through Saturday, but it could last longer if it slows down and strengthens.
Here's a closer look at the eye of the storm. (Photo: Alexander Gerst/ESA)
The remarkable videos and pictures from space provide a sobering view as winds from Hurricane Florence approach 130 mph.
Evacuations have been ordered for most coastal cities in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The National Hurricane Center says the hurricane is "expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall."
Here is the latest satellite image of Florence. Most likely arrival time of tropical storm force winds in our area is late morning/early afternoon tomorrow. Today is the last day to safely travel out of the area. Please heed any evacuation orders and we will continue to monitor. pic.twitter.com/tKs4dmYWEE— NWS Wilmington NC (@NWSWilmingtonNC) September 12, 2018
Hurricane Florence is already affecting more than 1 million people.
"This is not going to be a glancing blow," FEMA's Jeff Byard said in a press conference. "This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina Coast."