NASA astronaut and current International Space Station resident Ricky Arnold was able to capture the sheer breadth of Hurricane Florence, while showcasing Isaac and an outer band of Helene in new photos posted on Twitter Monday.
At noon on Monday, Hurricane Florence blew into a Category 4 classification, a level experts previously predicted wouldn't occur until later in the week.
Florence appears to have weakened slightly but is expected to restrengthen later on Tuesday, the NHC said.
The center of Florence was forecast to sweep between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday before making its assault on the USA coast.
Florence is expected to strengthen further.
Florence grew into a major hurricane on Monday morning and was upgraded again to a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane strength at midday as its top sustained wind speeds reached 130 miles per hour. There will be other areas that see solid surf and more favorable conditions before swell drops off this weekend but focus remains on those in harm's way. It comes after he approved a similar declaration for North and SC, which are now in the bull's-eye of the powerful Category 4 storm.
The storm will first pass over the North Atlantic Ocean, then pass between the island of Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was moving west at about 13 miles per hour. The storm could soon be on the brink of a Category 5. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles (20 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km).
Tropical Storm Isaac, located 775 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, is moving towards the west near 16 miles per hour (mph).
Hurricane Florence churned Tuesday toward the Eastern Seaboard as a storm of "staggering" size, forcing a million people to evacuate the coast.
There were no backups on US 278 over the Hilton Head bridges through Bluffton, or on S.C. 170, according to the Beaufort County traffic camera system. Forecasters also warned of a rising threat of life-threatening storm surge, along with the damaging winds. "Everyone should start preparing now".
The most likely arrival time of tropical storm-force winds from Tropical Storm Olivia as of 11 p.m. Monday.
"The bottom line is that there is high confidence that Florence will be a large and extremely risky hurricane, regardless of its exact intensity", the hurricane center said. Federal Government stands by, ready to assist 24/7. Its projected landfall is "still fluctuating depending on which models you look at. Please stock up on food and water for at least three days and all other items which the National Disaster Office has been advising you to have on hand", Austrie said.
Florence is so wide that a life-threatening storm surge was being pushed 300 miles ahead of its eye, swirling clouds that could deluge states from SC to OH and Pennsylvania as it slows and then stalls over land.
"This is going to be big", said Victoria Oliva, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington.
The hurricane could remain powerful as it passes over the U.S. mainland, the NHC warned on Monday morning.
"This hurricane has the potential to cause life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic wind damage and significant flooding when we expect it to make landfall between Thursday and Friday, and it may slow down inland and unload feet of water".
Some officials have already begun taking early precautions.