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Here comes Hurricane Irene: How it looks from above

August 24, 2011 | 10:14 am

Hurricane Irene as seen from space via Ron Garan NASA 8-22-11

This is what a Category I hurricane looks like as it builds its winds a few days out from the American Eastern seaboard.

It's Hurricane Irene, a churning storm as wide as the distance from Pittsburgh to Chicago with winds building now to above 110 mph, making it a Category 3 storm.

Residents along the U.S. coast are preparing. It's predicted to hit the Carolinas on Saturday and move northward over the weekend, possibly ruining the Sunday dedication of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. monument on Washington's Mall.

NASA astronaut Ron Garan aboard the International Space Station had a good view from space 220 miles above the meteorological turmoil. And here it is.

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-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Ron Garan / NASA.

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