What could be the most powerful storm to hit Hawaii in the last 26 years has been caught on camera all the way up from space, reports the Boston Globe.
Brewing over the Pacific Ocean, Hurricane Lane is now moving “dangerously close” to the main islands of Hawaii, the National Weather Service (NWS) announced in a Twitter post on August 23.
The mammoth storm, which earlier this week was upgraded to Category 4, as reported by the Inquisitr, was spotted from the International Space Station (ISS) by NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold, who took to Twitter to share chilling photos of the hurricane “devouring the view from space,” notes CNET.
At the same time, the increasingly threatening storm was caught on camera by two NASA satellites, the Aqua and the Suomi NPP, showing sobering views of the massive hurricane as it inches toward Hawaii, reports Space.com.
Arnold, who is currently a flight engineer for Expedition 56 on board the ISS, snapped two eye-opening photos of Hurricane Lane on August 22. The images, which amassed 8,500 retweets, reveal the massive storm swirling and spiraling toward the Hawaiian Islands in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
“Hurricane Lane in the early morning hours near Hawaii. The crew of the Space Station sends much aloha to everyone there,” Arnold wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite, which the space agency operates together with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), caught a glimpse of Hurricane Lane from space at 7.18 a.m. ET (1.18 a.m. HST) on August 22, during its brief period as a Category 5 storm, notes Space.com.
In a new video released by NASA on the same day and which you can watch below, Hurricane Lane can be seen roiling over the Pacific at a distance of 254 miles from Hawaii’s main islands.
Cameras on board the ISS captured the giant storm “churning in the Pacific” on August 22 at 12:47 p.m. EDT, when the space station passed 254 miles (408 kilometers) south of the Hawaiian Islands, the NASA Johnson YouTube channel posted on Wednesday.
“At the time of the station’s pass, Lane was a major hurricane packing winds of 155 miles an hour moving west-northwest on a track that would bring the storm close to or over the islands between Wednesday and Saturday,” reads the video description.
Although Hurricane Lane has since been downgraded to a Category 3 storm, according to CBS News, it remains “a dangerous and powerful storm,” the Governor of Hawaii, David Ige, said during a news conference on Thursday afternoon.
As of 8 p.m. ET (2 p.m. local time) on August 23, the hurricane was located about 190 miles (305 kilometers) south-southwest of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, and some 200 miles (321 kilometers) south of Honolulu.
CBS News notes that Hurricane Lane, which could be the biggest storm unleashed over Hawaii since Hurricane Iniki in 1992, has already soaked parts of the Big Island with more than a foot of rain on Thursday and continues to approach Hawaii’s islands.
“Hurricane Lane will bring life threatening conditions across Hawaii through Saturday with damaging winds, dangerous surf, coastal storm surge and intense flooding rains,” the NWS tweeted on Thursday.