Stunning GIFs of Hurricane Dorian from space reveal its immense power

2 Sep 2019

Still from ‘ISS Views of Hurricane Dorian - September 1, 2019’. Image: NASA Video/YouTube

Hurricane Dorian is one of the largest storms of its kind in the region for years, and now its power has been captured by cameras in orbit.

Hurricane Dorian’s immense power has been laid bare by spectacular moving satellite imagery. Meteorologist Dakota Smith used images taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s GOES-16 satellite, offering a view from above of the storm, which was recently upgraded to category 5.

Dorian moved west after it was expected to reach the Bahamas on Sunday (1 September). The storm is bringing with it torrential rain and powerful winds, which the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami says have increased to 257kph.

Smith has carefully constructed the imagery from the GOES-16 satellite into GIFs and videos that have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media. GOES-16 is a geostationary satellite with its gaze fixed upon the area to the east of the US and across South America.

Many in the Bahamas have left their homes ahead of the storm’s arrival after the archipelago’s prime minister Hubert Minnis warned that any “who do not evacuate are placing themselves in extreme danger and can expect a catastrophic consequence”.

Additional footage posted to NASA’s YouTube channel also showed the enormous size of Hurricane Dorian as seen from the International Space Station.

Since a warning was issued by Minnis, the Bahamas has experienced its first reported death as a result of the hurricane, according to The Guardian.

“This will put us to a test that we’ve never confronted before,” he said. “This is probably the most sad and worst day of my life to address the Bahamian people. I just want to say as a physician I’ve been trained to withstand many things, but never anything like this.”

Later today (2 September), the hurricane is expected to veer towards the north-east of the US, meaning those on the American coast are less likely to take the brunt of the storm. However, predicting the path of the storm will prove difficult as its cone that determines its route becomes much wider by this point.

The NHC warned that Dorian is so strong that even if it doesn’t make a direct hit on the Florida coastline, the results would still be catastrophic. It added that it expects the hurricane to remain a powerful force over the coming days.

– PA Media, with additional reporting from Colm Gorey