Space & Innovation

Hurricane Matthew Looks Monstrous From Space

The dangerous category 4 hurricane is currently rampaging through the Caribbean and the International Space Station crew had a good look into the eye of the storm.

Image: On Oct. 2 at 5:46 a.m. EDT the Global Precipitation Measurement satellite found very heavy rainfall falling at a rate of over 6.4 inches and several storms in the area had cloud tops reaching over 9.9 miles high (NASA/JAXA)

As the crew of the International Space Station practiced for the arrival of a resupply vehicle in a few days time, they took note of Hurricane Matthew that is ripping through the Caribbean Sea. It's a monster:

Matthew is the worst hurricane to hit the region in nearly a decade and has already brought powerful winds and massive rainfall to Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba, triggering flooding.

"Heaviest rain was seen well to the east of Hurricane Matthew's center," said Hal Pierce of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in a NASA statement. "This area of strong convective storms has been persistent over the past few days. This area of intense rainfall is due to convergence between the trade winds (prevailing easterlies) and the wind flow from the south with Matthew. This area of heavy rainfall with Matthew may cause devastating torrential rainfall as it moves slowly over Haiti."

RELATED: Hurricane Matthew Barrels Toward Jamaica, Haiti

According to observations made by the joint NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Global Precipitation Measurement satellite, up to 40 inches of rain could fall on Haiti.

Meanwhile, 250 miles above the storm, first-time astronauts Kate Rubins (NASA) and Takuya Onishi (JAXA) were practicing the controls of the space station's Canadarm2 robotic arm that will be used to grapple and berth the robotic Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft that is scheduled for launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, between Oct. 8-13. This will be the first flight of Orbital's revamped Antares launch vehicle after suffering a catastrophic explosion at lift-off nearly 2 years ago on Oct. 28, 2014.

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