Randy “Komrade” Bresnik, NASA’s ISS commander, has a pretty rad hobby: he takes photos of hurricanes, from outer space. It looks like this:

Hurricane Jose. Credits: Randy Bresnik / NASA.

From the space station 260 miles (419 km) above Earth, Bresnik thoughtfully looks down every day, hoping that the hurricane season will cause no more pain and destruction. He shares photos not only of the hurricanes themselves, but also of the areas unfortunate enough to be in their wake. The island of Barbuda, for instance, was 90% destroyed. The Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory, were also directly hit.

A Texan himself, Bresnik started with photos of Harvey, lamenting the destruction the storm has brought in his hometown of Houston. Like much of America, Bresnik let go a sigh of release as Harvey finally left Texas, but warned against taking it lightly.

Unfortunately, this hurricane season proved especially damaging and just as Harvey made its exit, Irma stepped in. To Bresnik, Irma seems more like a monster than a storm.

Irma became the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic, with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour, and gusts going even faster. Irma was so strong it got picked up by seismographs, sensors built to detect earthquakes.

Irma claimed at least 12 lives, though the official toll might be much higher in reality. Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the storm left “devastation” on the Keys, but at this point, it’s unclear just how much damage Irma caused.

Then, meteorologists started issuing warnings for Jose.

Thankfully, Hurricane Jose seems to have dissipated much of its energy and steered clear of densely populated areas. Jose is now a Category 1 hurricane, unlike Irma which was a Category 5, the highest category on the scale.

But while a US impact is unlikely, it’s still possible — and other areas may yet be struck by the hurricane.

“Canada appears more likely than the U.S. to receive a hit from Jose at this point, but it is too early to be a believer in these long-range model forecasts,” said Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters.

But even so, even being “just” a Category 1 hurricane, Jose looks impressive as all hell. He may be Irma’s little brother, but he’s still a force to be reckoned with.

 

Bresnik‘s Tweets paint an impressive picture, and his account has pretty much become a must-follow on Twitter, just like his ISS predecessors. The station’s other residents — Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy and European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli — also posted their photos of Irma from orbit last week.

Enjoyed this article? Join 40,000+ subscribers to the ZME Science newsletter. Subscribe now!

Like us on Facebook

Your opinion matters -- voice it in the comments below!