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NASA watches menacing Hurricane Dorian flex its muscles

Forecasters expect the hurricane could become much more monstrous by the time it reaches Florida.

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Hurricane Dorian takes shape in this image from NASA's Terra satellite.

NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

Dorian officially entered the storm big leagues on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of nearly 75 mph (120 kph). Forecasters don't expect it to stay that chill for long. 

The hurricane is making its way across the Atlantic and will likely impact the Bahamas and Florida over the next few days. Satellites and astronauts on the International Space Station are tracking the storm.

NASA's Terra satellite view of Dorian shows a typical swirling hurricane cloud pattern. The space agency also shared an impressive view of the storm as seen by a camera on the ISS on Thursday. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's GOES-East satellite caught sight of Dorian in action. The agency posted a short GIF of the storm to Twitter on Wednesday.

It's hard to determine Dorian's ultimate path. It already changed direction once and could potentially intensify quite a bit over time. Currently, it looks like it might reach Florida near the end of the weekend.

The US Department of Health & Human Services tweeted preparedness tips on Thursday, asking people in the storm's path to secure outdoor furniture, protect important documents, cover windows and trim dead limbs from trees.

The National Hurricane Center has issued warnings about the risk of high winds, heavy rains and flash floods associated with the storm. It's been a fairly quiet hurricane season this year, but Dorian looks like it wants to make some noise.