Hurricane Florence, a Category 3 storm that officials are calling a “monster storm,” is set to pummel the U.S. East Coast.
On Wednesday afternoon, Florence had maximum sustained winds of 215 km/h and was on a trajectory that showed its centre most likely to strike the southern coast of North Carolina by late Thursday or early Friday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
More than one million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastline of the three states, while schools and factories were being shuttered.
Florence is rated a Category 3 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, and Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) warned residents that it would bring “a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast.”
WATCH: Hurricane Florence — trajectory of storm changes
So just how big is the storm?
Global News Meterogolost Anthony Farnell predicted that the eye of the storm is around 40 kilometres wide. To put that in perspective, the length of Toronto proper is 43 kilometres. So the storm’s eye is nearly as big as Canada’s largest city.
Florence’s wingspan is around 600 kilometres, Farnell said (note that the storm is constantly changing in shape so the numbers are just estimations).
If you drive from Toronto to Montreal, it’s around 541 kilometres. So Florence’s is wider than that distance.
The storm also covers roughly 283,000 square kilometres.
That’s more than double the size of the island of Newfoundland, which is around 108,000 square kilometres.
You could also fit Prince Edward Island 49 times over in the storm. And Toronto 449 times.
The storm is so big that astronauts from the European Space Agency (EPA) had to use an extra wide-angle lens to photograph it.
Alexander Gerst with the EPA took to Twitter on Wednesday saying he had to use a “super wide-angle lens” to fir the storm in one shot, which was snapped from the International Space Station.
— With files from Reuters