Perhaps when he returns to earth, astronaut Ricky Arnold should pursue a gig as a “Hurricane Hunter.”

On Wednesday, Arnold shared two pictures on Twitter of Hurricane Florence from his perch on the International Space Station, which is orbiting 250 miles above the earth. The images show the massive Category 4 storm as it slowly churns toward the Carolina coast.

“#HurricaneFlorence this morning with Cape Hatteras #NorthCarolina in the foreground,” Arnold wrote. “The crew of @Space_Station is thinking of those who will be affected.”

Forecasters predict hurricane-force winds will be blowing ashore early Friday, before eventually dumping 1 to 2½ feet of rain on the region, according to the Associated Press.


States of emergency were declared this week by President Trump for North and South Carolina and Virginia.

Arnold is part of Expedition 55/56, which launched to the Space Station in March, according to his biography on NASA’s website. Long before the Maryland native was aboard the space station representing the United States, he spent time working in the marine sciences at the Cape Cod National Seashore and aboard a vessel headquartered in Woods Hole.

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst also shared pictures of the hurricane from the space station Wednesday, noting the incredible size of the storm and warning those on the ground to be cautious.

“Watch out, America! #HurricaneFlorence is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens,” Gerst wrote. “Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you.”

This is the second time in recent weeks that Arnold and crew members aboard the ISS have shared a view of a hurricane from high above.

In August, Arnold had a bird’s-eye view of the eye of Hurricane Lane. A tweet he shared of the storm was shared thousands of times.


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.