Hurricane Harvey heads for Texas


The strongest storm in a dozen years approaches the coast of the US.


Hurricane Harvey seen from the ISS.
Hurricane Harvey approaching the coast of Texas, seen from the International Space Station.
Randy Bresnik / NASA / ISS

Hurricane Harvey, forecast to be the strongest hurricane to hit the mainland of the United States in more than a decade, is seen here spinning through the Gulf of Mexico on its way to a projected landfall in Texas on Friday night.

It is expected to strengthen to a Category 3 storm, and there are predictions of enormous storm surge along the Texas coast. The US National Hurricane Centre warns of destructive high winds and rainfalls of up to 90 centimetres.

None of that chaos will be apparent from an altitude of 400 kilometres, but astronauts aboard the International Space Station, like NASA’s Randy Bresnik who took the photo above, will nonetheless be keeping an eye on the news.

NASA headquarters are in Houston, Texas, and stand to be hit by some very heavy weather over the weekend. Bresnik has seen big storms from orbit before but, he wrote on Twitter, it “feels a lot different when you see a hurricane, knowing your family is in its path”.

Michael Lucy is the online editor of Cosmos.
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