Hurricane Michael menaces Florida in startling space views

Satellites and the space station look down on a "potentially catastrophic" monster storm set to rock the state.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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A camera mounted on the ISS caught this view of Hurricane Michael.

NASA video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Hurricane Michael has ramped up in intensity and turned it into a Category 4 monstrosity. 

While residents and first responders prepare for the hurricane to make landfall Wednesday along the Gulf Coast of the Florida Panhandle, satellites and the International Space Station are tracking its progress from above.

NASA posted a video from the ISS on Tuesday from an altitude of 255 miles (410 kilometers). It showed an upside-down view of Michael as it moved across the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center called the storm "potentially catastrophic" in an advisory issued Wednesday, hours ahead of an anticipated landfall later in the day. The message warns of a life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds and heavy rainfall.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Goes-East satellite captured a loop of Michael's eye during sunrise. It shows the churning clouds around the center of the storm.

The @NOAASatellites Twitter account also posted a night-time view from the same satellite. This look highlights the storm's size and reach.

NOAA's Goes-East satellite viewed the storm in infrared, which gives it a psychedelic look but also emphasizes the hurricane's bands and powerful center.

Space views from astronauts, ISS cameras and satellites give a wide perspective on dangerous storms like Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Florence, which battered the Carolinas in September. 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott called for residents in Michael's path along the coast to seek refuge immediately. 

NASA sees breathtaking clouds on Earth and beyond

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