Photos of Hurricane Florence from space show true scale of storm

Astronauts have been forced to use a wide-angle lens to capture the sheer size of Hurricane Florence.

Alexander Gerst and Ricky Arnold both posted pictures of the storm on Twitter, expressing shock at its size.

The category 4 storm is expected to make landfall in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia on Thursday night (local time).

The eye of Hurricane Florence.
The eye of Hurricane Florence as seen from space. Photo credit: Twitter/ Alexander Gerst

Around one million people have been forced to evacuate their homes leading to huge traffic jams of residents fleeing path of the hurricane.

The amount of traffic evacuating was so intense that officials in South Carolina reversed the flow of traffic on major highways leading to them both going in the same direction.

"Watch out, America! Hurricane Florence is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens from the Space Station, 400 km directly above the eye," Mr Gerst wrote

"Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you."

Mr Arnold expressed his sympathy for those caught in the path of the hurricane.

"Hurricane Florence this morning with Cape Hatteras North Carolina in the foreground," he said. "The crew of the Space Station is thinking of those who will be affected."

Mr Gerst later added it was important people in the path of the hurricane listened to official evacuation orders.

Some have chosen to stay behind in their homes despite the danger.

"Every storm it happens," CNN correspondent Nick Valencia told The AM Show.

"I was in Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, I've covered my fair share of hurricanes and every single time without fail there are people that stay behind."