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Hurricane Ian as seen from the International Space Station

Hurricane Ian is barreling its way toward Florida, with the authorities warning that the Category 2 storm could cause widespread and serious damage to communities caught in its path.

Things are a lot calmer high above the storm on the International Space Station (ISS), where a camera on the orbital facility recorded footage of the weather system as it passed overhead.

“Hurricane Ian is seen about 260 miles below the space station as the storm was gaining strength south of Cuba and moving toward Florida at around 3pm ET on Monday, September 26, 2022,” NASA said in a tweet that included the dramatic footage.

#HurricaneIan is seen about 260 miles below the space station as the storm was gaining strength south of Cuba and moving toward Florida at around 3pm ET on Monday, Sept 26, 2022.

— International Space Station (@Space_Station) September 26, 2022

Hurricane Ian’s astonishing size and strength has led forecasters to suggest it could cause some serious damage when it reaches Florida on Wednesday, with those in its path advised to take appropriate action to stay safe. Local news channels are offering up-to-date information on the hurricane’s path. Alternatively, head to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) website for the latest updates.

For a small fee, the Hurricane Tracker smartphone app for iOS and Android, which uses NHC data to relay storm news as it comes in, is also an option. The app costs $3 and offers customizations for alerts on newly formed storms or for when a weather system reaches land, among other features.

As you’d expect, The Weather Channel also provides timely updates on incoming storms. Here’s how to watch The Weather Channel without cable.

It’s not the first time that the space station has beamed back extraordinary images of extreme weather systems battering Earth far below.

Just over a week ago, for example, current ISS astronaut Bob Hines posted incredible images of Typhoon Nanmadol, a powerful weather system that struck Japan, with the loss of four lives.

“It’s incredible how something that seems so beautiful from space can be so terrible on Earth,” Hines tweeted.

It’s incredible how something that seems so beautiful from space can be so terrible on Earth…Praying for the safety of those in the path of Typhoon Nanmadol.

— Bob “Farmer” Hines (@Astro_FarmerBob) September 17, 2022

In 2020, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy captured these shots of Hurricane Genevieve as it came close to the Baja California peninsula:


— Chris Cassidy (@Astro_SEAL) August 19, 2020

And just a few days later, the same astronaut snapped these extraordinary images of Hurricane Laura as it approached communities along the Gulf Coast:

Views of Hurricane Laura taken from @Space_Station today. Stay safe everyone.

— Chris Cassidy (@Astro_SEAL) August 26, 2020

Making 16 orbits of Earth a day at a speed of around 17,000 mph, the space station has a pretty good chance of passing over extreme weather systems when they develop, giving astronauts on board the opportunity to capture them before sharing the content on social media and also with NASA’s Earth Observatory platform.

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