scorecardresearch

Here’s a picture of Hurricane Lane taken from the International Space Station

A handout image made available by NASA on Aug. 22, 2018 and taken by a crew member from the International Space Station shows Hurricane Lane in the Central Pacific Ocean, near Hawaii.
A handout image made available by NASA on Aug. 22, 2018 and taken by a crew member from the International Space Station shows Hurricane Lane in the Central Pacific Ocean, near Hawaii.(NASA via EPA/Shutterstock)

It was a bird’s-eye view of the eye of an intense storm.

On Wednesday, US Astronaut Richard Arnold shared two images on Twitter of Hurricane Lane as it swirled and spiraled toward the Hawaiian Islands.

“#HurricaneLane in the early morning hours,” wrote Arnold, who is aboard the International Space Station orbiting 250 miles above the Earth. “The crew of the @Space_Station sends much aloha to everyone there.”

In the photos shared by Arnold, the hurricane looks like a massive circular saw blade, its vast gray mass blanketing the ocean below it. Parts of the Space Station encroach one image, framing the eye of the storm.

Advertisement



The tweet was shared thousands of times, offering those on social media a unique vantage point of the mammoth storm.

Arnold, who is part of Expedition 55/56, which launched to the Space Station in March, was selected to be an astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 2004, according to his biography on the federal agency’s website.

A Maryland native, Arnold’s career in space exploration has roots in Massachusetts. At one point, he spent time working in the marine sciences at the Cape Cod National Seashore. He also spent time aboard a vessel headquartered in Woods Hole, according to his biography.

A hypnotic video captured by Space Station cameras was also posted to Twitter this week, showing Hurricane Lane “churning in the Pacific Ocean,” according to a tweet from the station’s account.

Hurricane Lane — which was downgraded this week to a category 4 hurricane — is expected to hit Hawaii on Thursday, bringing with it winds exceeding 100 miles per hour, according to the Associated Press.

That intensity could make the hurricane the most powerful storm to hit Hawaii since Hurricane Iniki in 1992, the AP reported.

Advertisement



The National Weather Service said Thursday that the hurricane “will pass dangerously close to the main Hawaiian Islands.”

Rainfall over the past 12 hours as the storm approaches has dropped over eight inches of rain on the Big Island, officials said.

“The slow movement increases the threat for prolonged heavy rainfall,” the weather service said. “This is expected to lead to life-threatening flash flooding and landslides over all Hawaiian Islands.”

Hawaii Governor David Ige, who has been posting consistent updates about the storm on social media, said in a post on Facebook Wednesday that because hurricane conditions are unpredictable, people are urged “to take every precaution to protect their health and safety.”

“We are expecting large amounts of rain, flooding, and high winds,” he said in a statement. “There will be significant impacts even if the hurricane doesn’t hit us directly.”


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear. Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.