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Hurricane Irma: space cameras watch helplessly from above as storm approaches land

The International Space Station’s external cameras captured a dramatic view of Hurricane Irma as it moved across the Atlantic Ocean Sept. 5. The National Hurricane Center had recently upgraded Irma to a Category 5 storm with hurricane warnings issued across the Caribbean.

All that space cameras could do was watch as Hurricane Irma inched closer to land with winds that blew at up to 295 kilometres per hour on Tuesday.

The “potentially catastrophic” storm was headed toward Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Tuesday night, and was projected to make landfall in Florida on Saturday.

Coverage of Hurricane Irma on Globalnews.ca:

The storm’s scale was captured in a series of dread-inducing images from sources such as NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the International Space Station throughout Tuesday.

The space station tweeted this video, showing what Hurricane Irma looked like from above Earth.

Other tweets showed Irma and Tropical Storm Jose inching ever closer to land as day became night.

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And the intensity of Irma’s winds as it approached the Caribbean island of Barbuda.

READ MORE: LIVE UPDATES: Tracking Hurricane Irma’s path

Various tweets from the NOAA showed the eye of the storm as it moved over the Atlantic.

The organization also provided a close-up look at the very centre of the storm.

NASA also provided a chilling look at the hurricane: