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ISS astronauts see Wilma intensify

Lots of cloud

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As Hurricane Wilma became the most intense category five hurricane on record, astronauts on board the International Space Station were on hand to capture the evidence.

Hurricane Wilma, as snapped by the ISS. Credit: NASA TV

The storm, currently wandering through the Caribbean, seems to span the globe in the image from NASA TV. It has since dropped to a still fearsome category four.

As of yesterday evening, hurricane force winds extended as far as fifty miles from the centre of the storm and tropical storm force winds radiated a further 160 miles further out. Yesterday morning, hurricane force winds had only reached around 15 miles away from the eye.

Although the storm is bigger, the pressure in the centre of the storm had increased yesterday evening, up from the 882 millibar record reached yesterday morning to 900 millibars. The previous lowest pressure recorded was in Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, which reached 888 millibars.

NASA says plenty of rain is in the offing as the storm makes its way towards the US coast. Landfall is currently expected in Florida at some point this weekend, and residents have been advised to keep an eye on the storm's progress. ®

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