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Astronaut Zooms In on Hurricane Dorian, Now a Category 4 Storm, in These Space Station Photos

Hurricane Dorian is terrifying even from the International Space Station, where European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano captured photographs of the then Category 5 storm. The storm has since weakened to a Category 4 hurricane, but is still harrowing with "catastrophic winds," according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

"Zoom into tropical storm Dorian," Parmitano wrote on Twitter Sunday (Sept. 1) while sharing the photos from the station, where he serves as part of the Expedition 60 crew. 

As of 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), Hurricane Dorian was battering Grand Bahama Island in the northern Bahamas, where meteorologists predict it will remain for much of today (Sept. 2). 

Dorian currently has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph ( 250 km/h) and is about 110 miles (180 kilometers) east of West Palm Beach, Florida as it moves at a glacial 1 mph (2 km/h), the NHC said. The NHC, operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) is currently forecasting that the storm will hug the east coast of the U.S.

Video: Here's the Latest Video of Hurricane Dorian from Space
Watch:
See Hurricane Dorian in Action in these Gifs from Space

Image 1 of 4

Astronaut Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency captured this photo of the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station as the storm moved across the Atlantic Ocean toward the Bahamas.

Astronaut Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency captured this series of photos of the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station on Sept. 1, 2019 as the storm moved across the Atlantic Ocean toward the Bahamas.
(Image credit: Luca Parmitano/ESA via Twitter)
Image 2 of 4

Astronaut Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency captured this photo of the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station as the storm moved across the Atlantic Ocean toward the Bahamas.

This second photo from Parmitano shows a closer view of the storm. Its eye is clearly visible.
(Image credit: Luca Parmitano/ESA via Twitter)
Image 3 of 4

Astronaut Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency captured this photo of the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station as the storm moved across the Atlantic Ocean toward the Bahamas.

This photo by Parmitano zooms in even closer on Hurricane Dorian's eye. At the the time this was taken, Dorian had just become the strongest hurricane on modern record.
(Image credit: Luca Parmitano/ESA via Twitter)
Image 4 of 4

Astronaut Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency captured this photo of the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station as the storm moved across the Atlantic Ocean toward the Bahamas.

Hurricane Dorian's eye is seen up close in this zoomed-in photo by astronaut Luca Parmitano from the International Space Station, which orbits Earth from a height of about 260 miles (418 kilometers).
(Image credit: Luca Parmitano/ESA via Twitter)

If this prediction proves correct, Hurricane Dorian will travel northward along Florida's coast through Wednesday (Sept. 4). 

"On this track, the core of extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian will continue to pound Grand Bahama Island through much of today and tonight," NHC officials wrote in the 11 a.m. EDT update. "The hurricane will then move dangerously close to the Florida east coast late tonight through Wednesday evening and then move dangerously close to the Georgia and South Carolina coasts on Wednesday night and Thursday."

This animation of photos by European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano zooms in on the eye of Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm, as seen from the International Space Station on Sept. 1, 2019.

(Image credit: Luca Parmitano/ESA via Twitter)

Right now, NHC is calling Dorian "extremely dangerous" on account of both the powerful winds that once classified it as a Category 5 storm (and now a still-dangerous Category 4) and the heavy rainfall and storm surges the hurricane is causing.

Grand Bahama Island could see storm surges between 18 and 23 feet (5.5 to 7 meters) higher than typical tide levels, according to the NHC forecast.

Related: How NASA and NOAA Track Hurricane Dorian from Space

Current rainfall predictions suggest Dorian could drop 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) of rain along the Florida coast and 5 to 10 inches (12.5 to 25 cm) along the Carolinas.

If you live along Hurricane Dorian's path, visit the NHC and your local National Weather Service office for the latest forecasts.

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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