The National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicts that Florence's outer bands - and tropical-force winds - will begin to arrive Thursday morning, with the rest of the storm plowing through the area through the weekend.
Florence is set to reach the coastline of North and SC early Friday (Sept. 14), according to NASA and the National Hurricane Center (NHC), a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Gerst photographed the storm 400 kilometers, or 248 miles, above the eye.
"Watch out, America!" Gerst, who joined the crew of the International Space Station in June, said Wednesday in a tweet featuring pictures he took of Hurricane Florence. "While some weakening is expected to begin by late Thursday, Florence is still forecast to be an extremely risky major hurricane when it nears the USA coast on Friday", the NHC said in an 11 a.m.
In fact, Gerst wrote on Twitter that Hurricane Florence is "so enormous" it could only fit in the frame of a wide-angle camera.
"Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you", he added.
The weather agency also warned "life-threatening freshwater flooding is likely from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event".
With Hurricane Florence churning toward the East Coast, NASA released a stunning video and photos of the storm from space.
NASA also shared a video of the Category 4 storm from the International Space Station. "It's chilling, even from space", tweeted German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who is aboard the space station.
At the same time, NASA is tracking Hurricane Florence with the Suomi NPP satellite, which passed over the eye of the storm in the early hours of September 12, at 2:12 a.m. EDT.