Hurricane Lane, a major storm, began threatening Hawaii on Aug. 22 and was predicted to bring strong winds, heavy rain and other dangers to the islands through Saturday, Aug. 25. NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station and satellites in orbit around Earth kept watch over the frighteningly large storm as it approached the islands.
The view from the space station
U.S. astronaut Ricky Arnold, currently living and working on the International Space Station, captured this image of Hurricane Lane's incredible clouds on Aug. 22.
Clouds shine from above
A second image by Ricky Arnold taken from the space station offers a different perspective on the giant knot of clouds roiling above the Pacific Ocean.
A chilly storm
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Hurricane Lane in infrared light, which tells meteorologists how warm the clouds are. Colder clouds, like those at the heart of the storm, stretch taller in the atmosphere and can produce stronger rainfall.
Black and white
The Suomi NPP satellite, which is jointly run by NASA and NOAA, caught this image of Hurricane Lane during its brief period as a Category 5 storm. (As it came closer to land, the hurricane's wind speeds dropped slightly.) This night view, taken at 2:08 a.m. local time, helps scientists study the storm's structure.
A well-defined eye
A second image highlights the hurricane's structure by using infrared light to capture nuances in the clouds, like the storm's well-defined eye.
40 minutes later
An identically processed image taken 40 minutes later by a different NOAA satellite shows the rapid changes in cloud structure, particularly in the outer regions of the hurricane.
Up close and personal
The same image zoomed in on the hurricane's eye wall highlights how active the swirling mass of clouds is at its heart.
By looking at detailed images of the hurricane, meteorologists can identify structures within the storm, which can help researchers hone their forecasts and better inform people on the ground.
As if those images weren't frightening enough, this image shows how close the hurricane was to Hawaii when the photos were taken. For the latest forecast and information about the storm, residents should consult the National Weather Service.