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Hurricane Ian Looks Like an Absolute Beast in Sobering Satellite Images

Satellites are tracking the dangerous storm's path across the Atlantic as it as it heads for Cuba and Florida.

Hurricane Ian looks like a white swirling mass above dark blue ocean with green land masses below.
NOAA's GOES-16 satellite captured this view of Hurricane Ian south of Florida on Sept. 26, 2022.
CIRA/RAMMB/NOAA

Hurricane Ian is lumbering across the Atlantic, packing rain and dangerous winds as it aims for Cuba and Florida. Satellites are tracking the storm's path and strength while delivering sobering visuals of its size and movement.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth-observing GOES-16 satellite has one of the best views from space. Imagery from Monday shows the storm's swirling pattern and reach. NOAA tweeted a satellite time lapse in the morning showing the storm's movement.

NOAA followed that view with another look at the strengthening hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center's Monday advisory warned of life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds, flash floods and possible mudslides for portions of western Cuba beginning in the evening. It also warned of storm surge conditions for much of the Florida west coast as Ian stays on the move through this week.

The hurricane's ultimate path is still a bit uncertain. As of Monday afternoon, it was packing sustained winds of 85 mph (137 km/h), which would qualify it as a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, a way of assessing a storm's intensity and potential for property damage.  

Florida is prepping for the storm's arrival. Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for all of the state's 67 counties. NASA announced plans on Monday to roll its Artemis I moon rocket back into its garage at Kennedy Space Center in Florida to protect the mission from any storm impact.  

NOAA put together a one-stop resource for satellite imagery, forecasts, safety information and resources for Hurricane Ian. If you're in the possible path of the storm, check out our preparedness guide. Humanity's eyes up in space will continue to follow along as Ian moves toward land.