This is what Hurricane Lane looked like from space

This is what Hurricane Lane looked like from space
Ricky Arnold/NASA via CNN

Nobody wants to be under the whirling clouds of a hurricane, but above them? That’s a different story.

These images were taken by NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold early on Wednesday morning.

What these images show isn’t necessarily the power of the storm — though it is intriguing to see the placid blanket of white and imagine the roiling storm. What you’re really seeing here is the cloud shield, which gives you a good idea of size, rather than power.

Since then, Hurricane Lane has weakened from a category 4 storm to a category 3, and could be downgraded again as soon as Friday morning before weakening to a tropical storm over the weekend.

However, Lane remains a serious threat to Hawaii, with forecasts predicting 30 inches or more of rainfall in some areas. Hakalau Station on the Big Island has already seen more than 31 inches of rain, and flash flood warnings are in effect over most of the state.